A Loan in the Dark: The Difficulty of Determining Local Small Business Credit Needs, by WILLIAM DOWLING
It should come as no surprise that small businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy. There are 28 million small businesses operating throughout the country, and they are responsible for nearly half of all private-sector employment and 63 percent of new private-sector jobs. Therefore, maintaining an atmosphere in which these businesses can thrive is essential to the health of the economy. Read more
Critical Access Hospitals - Updated with new FAQs. Visit the guide to learn about the purpose of the program, requirements and benefits of CAH status, locations of CAHs, and much more. The guide was developed by Brandon Baumbach, RAC's Rural Health Policy Specialist with input from Terry Hill, National Rural Health Resource Center; Keith Mueller, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis; and Brad Gibbens, UND Center for Rural Health.
Rural Health Clinics - Includes information on the advantages of RHC designation, rules and regulations, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement policies, and more. This guide was developed by Kathleen Spencer, RAC Information Specialist, with guidance from Bill Finerfrock, National Association of Rural Health Clinics and Chris Christoffersen, Health Services Associates, Inc.
Rural-urban poverty gap is widest among youngest Americans
An important indicator of the Nation’s long-term well-being is poverty among children; child poverty often has an impact that carries throughout a lifetime, particularly if the child lived in poverty at an early age. Like the overall poverty rate, nonmetro (rural) child poverty has been historically higher than metro (urban) child poverty, and increased to record-high levels in 2012. According to Census estimates, the poverty rate for children under 18 living in rural areas stood at 26.2 percent in 2013, more than four percentage points higher than the metro child poverty rate of 21.6 percent. In 2013, the nonmetro/metro difference in poverty rates was greatest for children under six years old (30.3 percent nonmetro and 23.9 percent metro). Child poverty is more sensitive to labor market conditions than overall poverty, as children depend on the earnings of their parents. Older members of the labor force, including empty nesters and retirees, are less affected by job downturns, and families with children need higher incomes to stay above the poverty line than singles or married couples without children. This chart is found in the ERS topic page on Rural Poverty & Well-being, updated April 2015.
Mapping a nation of regional clusters
The U.S. Cluster Mapping Portal (ClusterMapping.us) provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments to promote economic growth and U.S. competitiveness. The project is led by Professor Michael Porter through Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Wallace Center Launches Good Food Economy Digest to Highlight Innovative Food Systems Business Models
The Wallace Center has recently launched the Good Food Economy Digest, an online resource which will share stories of innovative food systems business models from around the country on a bi-weekly basis. The stories will be of interest to those working in community economic development to understand the transformative power that investment in the good food sector can have on an economy. The first installment describes value chains in place in New York’s Hudson Valley to meet the soaring demand for locally-sourced foods. Click here for more information about the Good Food Economy Digest and to read the first article.
AARP Releases New Livability Index Tool
The AARP Public Policy Institute has recently developed the Livability Index, a web-based tool to measure community livability. Users can search the Index by address, zip code, or community to find an overall livability score, as well as a score for each of seven major livability categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. Users also can customize the Index to place higher or lower emphasis on the livability features of most importance to them. The Livability Index website provides resources to help consumers and policymakers use livability scores to effect change in their communities. It is the first tool of its kind to measure livability broadly at the neighborhood level for the entire country, and it is intended to inform and encourage people to take action to make their communities more livable. Click here to access the tool.
Smart Growth America and RCLCO Develop New Model to Calculate The Costs of Development Patterns
Smart Growth America and RCLCO have developed a new model designed to help municipalities understand the financial performance of development patterns, and what strategies could generate better returns in the future. The model looks at a variety of public costs and revenues to help municipal leaders understand how a smart growth approach to development could help improve their bottom line. Typical fiscal impact models are based on an “average cost” assumption. That is, they assume each new resident and/or employee associated with new development generates an increase in municipal operating costs equal to the average cost per resident and/or employee—regardless of the pattern or location of the new development. The main innovation in this new model is that it identifies specific governmental functions as sensitive to geographic dispersion, and we allow the cost per capita for these cost categories to vary based on the density of the development scenario. For more information about the model’s methodology, download an overview guide here.