USDA’s continued commitment to broadening small business access to contract opportunities stimulates small business ownership and economic growth, creates jobs, and results in improving the quality of life across America.
USDA currently awards over 52 percent of all contract dollars to small businesses throughout the country in support of its various missions. If you’re a small business owner, we encourage you to attend and participate in the USDA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) Procurement Conference. This year it will be held on April 19, here in Washington, DC. Read more »
Recently USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judith Canales joined Small Business Administration (SBA) officials in Syracuse, New York, to discuss opportunities to promote rural small business investment and job creation. The rural investment roundtable event was held at Dairylea Cooperative, Inc.
As part of the Startup America Initiative, SBA recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Impact Investment Fund through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2 to1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments. Read more »
A wide variety of eggplant sold at the North Carolina Farmers Market. The North Carolina State Farmers Market is one of the local markets covered by USDA Market News. Photo by Justin Henry.
Urban agriculture and gardening can be an important tool in confronting several key challenges that Americans face: from supporting farm viability in and around urban areas to improving access to healthful, affordable food to realizing the potential of rural-urban linkages. Read more »
I just went to the Capitol to hear the President address Congress about the way forward to grow the economy and create jobs.
There is no doubt that these have been tough times. And it’s very tough for the many Americans who are looking for work. So we’ve got to keep finding ways to help the unemployed in the short term and rebuild the middle class over the long term.
The American Jobs Act that President Obama laid out this evening will have an immediate impact. It will create jobs now. And it is based on bipartisan ideas that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past. Read more »
Recent news tells us that the American economy is continuing to move in the right direction, creating private sector jobs for twelve months in a row. The health care law signed by President Obama last year, the Affordable Care Act, has done its part to increase economic certainty in rural America by expanding health insurance options, strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, and providing tax relief to businesses. And although families across the nation are already seeing the benefits of this new law, this week some in Congress want to repeal the law. This would be a huge mistake for rural America. Read more »
A participant of an Iowa Business Resource Roundtable. The discussions highlight traditional access to business resources and federal/state funding opportunities as well as learning opportunities for producers, entrepreneurs, and others interested in expanding their role in local food systems.
As I have been discussing Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food with producers and local-food advocates across Iowa, one thing has become quite evident: access to capital is a huge barrier. In fact, at a meeting last month to develop an Iowa Food and Farm Plan that will be presented to the state legislature, access to traditional financing was listed as a major obstacle. Read more »