U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) offered his support today for a series of initiatives unveiled by President Obama this week to grow the economy and create jobs in rural communities.
"Washington can and must do more to help America's businesses create jobs," Senator Coons said. "The initiatives the President unveiled this week to help rural businesses are consistent with what I'm hearing from Delaware's small business owners, who need better access to capital to grow and expanded health care services in their communities to keep costs down. I look forward to seeing these ideas implemented and finding other ways we can help our neighbors get back to work."
To help small businesses get better access to capital, President Obama this week proposed to double the Small Business Administration's investment funds for rural small businesses over the next five years as part of its Startup America Initiative. The President is also launching a series of conferences nationwide to connect private equity and venture capital investors with rural start-ups.
To help out-of-work Americans find jobs, President Obama announced a partnership between the Department of Labor and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase access to existing job search and job training opportunities by making them available at USDA's 2,800 field offices nationwide.
And to help improve access to and lower the costs of health care services in rural communities, President Obama announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will expand eligibility for the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program, which will make it easier for small hospitals to recruit urgently needed physicians. The addition of one primary care physician in a rural community generates approximately $1.5 million in annual revenue and creates 23 jobs annually. The President also announced a partnership between USDA and HHS to link rural hospitals and clinicians to existing capital loan programs to help them purchase software and hardware needed to access the benefits of health information technology.
"This is a thoughtful, multi-pronged approach to helping the economies of our rural communities grow and the President deserves credit for leading on it," Senator Coons said. "There is so much that Washington can do to help our small businesses create jobs and strengthen our workforce, and I hope that these efforts are just the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues in the Senate over the coming weeks on even more initiatives that will help grow our economy by getting more Americans back to work."