Rural Lenders, Small Businesses Highlight Challenges Responding to COVID-19
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business heard from farmers, rural lenders, and other stakeholders on the effect of COVID-19 on rural communities. Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member John Joyce (R-PA) led the conversation for Committee Republicans.
The panel emphasized challenges faced by rural small businesses including the accessibility of the Paycheck Protection Program for agricultural businesses, fewer options for banking, and pressures on the food supply chain. They reported that many small businesses had received help from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
· Mr. Rick Ebert, President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Blairsville, PA
· Mr. Bill Menner, Executive Director, Iowa Rural Development Council, Grinnell, IA
· Ms. Melissa Moretz, Farmer, Moretz Farm; Commercial Portfolio Manager, First Citizens Bank; Mason City, IA
· Ms. Ines Polonius, CEO, Communities Unlimited, Fayetteville, AR