Ahead of First Rural Reinvestment Task Force Meetings, Rep. Axne Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Support Rural Entrepreneurs

August 31, 2021
Press Release
Bill that passed House last Congress would help rural small business owners access the capital they need to succeed

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced bipartisan legislation with Rep. Alex Mooney (WV-02) aimed at improving support for rural entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act would ensure that rural small businesses have a seat at the table as federal policymakers consider new rules that govern investment and capital.

“As a small business owner, I know how difficult it can be to access the capital you need to succeed. Over my first term in Congress, I’ve heard from dozens of Iowa’s small businesses about the unique challenges rural entrepreneurs face when it comes to obtaining the support they need to establish and grow their business,” said Rep. Axne. “As the new Co-Chair of the Rural Reinvestment Task Force, I’m committed to ensuring systems set up to help our innovators don’t leave rural areas behind. That’s why I’m pushing to see this bipartisan legislation pass this Congress – to help not just our rural entrepreneurs, but the communities and local economies they support.”

The bill will be one of the policy proposals that Axne will discuss with Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Iowa’s business leaders later this week at the first round of listening session for the Rural Reinvestment Task Force, a new group launched within the New Democrat Coalition of which Axne and Bustos are Co-Chairs.

The bill was introduced with Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), and Al Lawson (FL-05).

About the Bill:

The Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation (OASB) at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established to promote the interests of small businesses, with a focus on supporting women and minority-owned businesses as well as those affected by natural disasters. The Advocate identifies and provides an annual report on the problems entrepreneurs face in obtaining accessing capital.

The Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act would expand the focus areas of the Advocate to include rural-area small businesses. This data will help Congress and federal regulators make better informed decisions on how best to support economic growth in rural America.

Background:

Rural entrepreneurs and small business owners face unique challenges in accessing capital.

According to a survey of businesses led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, rural small businesses are less likely to grow than their urban counterparts and nearly half of rural small businesses lack sufficient financing.

Seventy-one percent of rural small businesses are a low credit risk, but only 49% receive the full amount of the financing they seek.

In July 2019, the U.S. House passed this legislation, but it was not considered in the U.S. Senate in the last Congress.