Federal Money Proposed for Rural Tourism Businesses

by Joanne Steele on August 5, 2009

Last night the US Senate passed an amendment sponsored by Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to boost tourism revenue for rural small businesses. The “Tourism Promotion for Rural Small Businesses” amendment (S. Amdt. 2259) is part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill, which the Senate expects to pass this week.

According to the Earth Times, “this amendment would help to coordinate the various federal programs by requiring a Government Accountability Office report on developing the tourism potential of rural small businesses. In particular it would:

— Identify existing federal programs that benefit small businesses in developing tourism marketing and tourism-related promotion plans in rural areas;

— Identify existing federal programs that help rural small businesses obtain capital for starting or expanding businesses primarily serving tourists; and

–Provide recommendations on improving existing programs or, if any, creating new programs that may benefit tourism in rural communities.”

If you are a US based rural tourism business, pass this information on to your local chamber of commerce and any local economic development organization or agency.  The article cites the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture as two key agencies that distribute rural development money.

Find out how these agencies work in your area, and get yourself to the front of the line for a little assistance. 1 out of 18 jobs nationally are in the tourism industry according to Landrieu, and I bet in many rural areas the number of tourism jobs is higher.

Thanks Senator Landrieu!

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