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Committee on Small Business Holds Hearing on Challenges Facing Rural Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, led a full Committee on Small Business hearing titled “Rural Entrepreneurship: Examining the Challenges and the State of Rural Small Businesses.” Chairman Williams issued the following statement after the hearing.

“Rural small businesses are the backbones of their communities, and without them, our nation cannot succeed,” said Chairman Williams. “Unfortunately, in Biden’s America, we’ve seen these businesses suffer the effects of high taxes, stubborn inflation, and a burdensome regulatory regime. Our nation’s small businesses are resilient, but we must continue doing everything we can to make life easier for Main Street. I’m proud this hearing examined solutions for the challenges these entrepreneurs face, and I greatly appreciate our witnesses and the time they gave to speak to us today.”


Watch the full hearing here.

Below are some key excerpts from today’s hearing:

Chairman Williams: “So, Ms. Cassaday, as the president of your local chamber in Adrian, Missouri, a town, as you said, of less than 2,000 people, you have unique perspective on the local business in your area. So, what challenges do you face operating in a rural community and what efforts do you take to attract people and businesses to come to the community? Ms. Cassaday: “Well, we get together and we do things like trying to plan events. But really the biggest thing that I think hurts a lot of us directly is with this inflation. You know, I have to constantly look at how I'm going to price all of my items on my menu and what we sell. But then you feel like you're constantly raising prices, raising prices, raising prices, and then you listen to customers, get frustrated at, you know, how “well I could go somewhere else and get this so much cheaper.” Well, we know that, but we are kind of backed into a corner and don't have much option. And we're still struggling to keep our doors open. So, I’m still not able to price things where they need to be.”

Rep. Meuser: “Mr. Splitter, let me ask you, you brought up access to capital a couple of times and then you said regs are putting you out of business. Hopefully this farm bill, I'm sure the SNAP program is the majority of the farm bill, of course, and it has positive effects on your business needs to be continued. It’s important, none of us argue that. But tell me, talk about access to capital. How are you using credit unions? Are you using the SBA? Are you using community banks?” Mr. Splitter: “We're using the community banks that specialize in agriculture.” Rep. Meuser: “And do you understand what the SEC, the FDIC and the Fed want to increase the deposit requirements of these community banks? We've been made aware of that. What do you think of that?” Mr. Splitter: “Thankfully, we're past that point in our operation. But if we would've been facing those regulations ten years ago, that probably would have…we would have had to file bankruptcy.”

Rep. Alford: “Ms. Cassaday, in your written testimony, you talked about some of the unique challenges you face rural deliveries in procuring supplies, having to drive to Kansas City. Is it takes you all day. What are some of the other challenges that you're facing because it's you and your husband. I forgot how many employees you have.” Ms. Cassaday: “I have 11.” Rep. Alford: “11 employees. This is a great business. How are you keeping it together in Adrian, Missouri, with the challenges you face?” Ms. Cassaday: “Well, some days not very well and other days we fare better. I will tell you that our biggest issue is the inflation and the cost of supplies. The amount of money that goes out is my supplies is my biggest one. My payroll is my next bill that I pay. They are the two highest things that that I am dealing with in my business.”