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Changes to the Rural Communities Act benefit Indiana rural businesses and communities

Out of the 92 counties in Indiana, 72 are considered rural. Recently reformed, the Rural Communities Act is going to help businesses in rural areas get the assistance they need in times of disaster. The Great Lakes Region Small Business Administration shared more information on how this act can help rural communities and the state of Indiana as a whole.

Geri Aglipay is the Region Administrator for the Great Lakes Region of the SBA, and she said the act will cut the red tape and simplify the means by which small business owners in rural communities can get assistance. “We are making strides to strengthening the ecosystem for small business owners to thrive and become more resilient,” she said.

According to the SBA, the law authorizes the SBA to simplify the process for a governor or tribal government chief executive to request an agency disaster declaration in counties with rural communities that have experienced significant damage. With the agency declaration, SBA is able to provide disaster assistance, including low-interest loans to individual renters and homeowners as well as nonprofit and for-profit businesses

The SBA is helping business centers set up a foundation to help small businesses operate on a day-to-day basis and set up infrastructure to face disaster when it occurs. They have recently transformed the Office of Disaster Assistance to the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resiliency.

Recently, Indiana had several counties in a state of emergency from tornadoes, so the SBA worked with FEMA, the mayors’ offices, and community organizations to get the word out about resources and assistance to recover.

The SBA focuses on five C’s: capital, counseling, contracting, connecting, and convening. Each of these pillars helps the SBA support local communities and businesses.

For more information on the Great Lakes Region Small Business Administration and resources for disaster, visit their website.