Small Business Policy News

Can’t make the hearing in Lincoln? 6 steps for weighing in on legislation

Nebraska residents are often referred to as the second house of our unique unicameral legislative system. Recognizing the importance of constituent voices in the legislative process and the long distances some must travel to appear before a legislative committee, rules now allow letters of testimony to be submitted and included as an exhibit in the official hearing record, permitting participation in the process—even if you are not able to travel to Lincoln.

Rural energy program benefits South Dakota businesses

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $380,000 to assist South Dakota businesses in reducing their energy costs and improving energy efficiency. The funding comes from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loans to rural businesses, ag producers, and farmers. REAP funds must be used for the installation of renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. 

Next step for rural broadband

As the 2020 session of the Nebraska Legislature approaches, the state’s rural broadband policy is ripe for new development.

Rural broadband in Nebraska has seen two big changes in recent months, first when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plan for a new broadband mapping requirement. Also, Nebraska’s Rural Broadband Task Force finished its report, which recommends policy change to strengthen rural broadband.

RMAP has provided small business support in 45 states

Thirty-one organizations signed a letter on Oct. 17 requesting members of the House and Senate appropriations committees and agriculture appropriations committees to fund the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), a farm bill program, in 2020.

Members of the committees will soon negotiate 2020 appropriations. In the letter, the organizations ask that Congress members stand up for RMAP and support rural communities by ensuring $6 million in appropriated funding remains available for RMAP.

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