|Start Date: ||12/2/2011|
|End Date: ||12/2/2011|
Almost two-thirds of jobs are created by small businesses. In tough economic times, we recognize more than ever the critical role that men, women, and families who run these businesses play in our smaller communities. We thank them for their commitment to their businesses - where there is no such thing as overtime pay for long hours worked or a guaranteed paycheck at the end of each week. Further, we thank them for the role they play in our communities as employers, leaders, and supporters of our local schools, civic organizations, and churches.
This week USI announced a second round of funding from USDA-Rural Development for the Breakout Program. This program is designed to help current small businesses in rural communities grow and develop faster. Breakout brings a team of experts together to help each business owner identify specific strategic challenges they have impeding their growth and profitability. Then, those expert resources provide hands on support to help the business owner implement solutions. This is not a "packaged" program. It is customized towards the unique needs and challenges of each business.
Small businesses that are interested in applying must employ 50 or fewer employees, have sales of less than $1 million, and be privately owned. The business can be industrial, retail, agri-business, service, wholesale or other specialty business. The business should be beyond its initial start-up and be considering how it can accelerate growth. The goal of this program is job creation and increased revenue generation for the small businesses. The deadline to apply is December 16. Please find more information online at www.usi.edu/extserv/outreach/breakout.ASP.
And, let me plug one additional way we can all help small businesses during the Christmas Season. Our local businesses count on local residents to "buy local" more now than any time during the year. As the daughter of a jeweler, a third of our family income from the jewelry store was derived during the month of December. My Dad's rule was that we could only purchase "in the city" what was not available locally. This rule is even tougher during an age of online shopping and large shopping centers. I can personally testify, however, that one of my greatest joys of living in a small town is the exemplary service that goes with every sale, from free gift wrapping to delivery to service after the sale. Please join me in supporting our local retailers this Holiday Season.
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)
Ellspermann Edition, Helping Small Businesses Breakout, 12-2-11.doc