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Bob Larson Jobs Bill for Rural Washington Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: February 10, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The Washington Rural Jobs Act is a bill proposing a mix of federal and state resources to fund economic development in the state’s rural areas.

One of the sponsors of House Bill 1422 is Aberdeen Representative Jim Walsh who says it could help some Ag firms looking for assistance …

JIM WALSH … “It actually uses federal dollars from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, so I mean it’s actually based on that. Now, the lenders are not limited to Ag firms, but that is the origin of the money. So, yeah, the spirit of the thing is to look at Ag and Ag-related businesses. And in our area, out on the coast, you might be looking at some, possibly some commercial fisheries and fisheries-related businesses too.”

Walsh says the bill gives a nudge to financial institutions …

JIM WALSH … “It’s a mix of resources from the state and federal level, but I should emphasize, what it does basically is incentivize private lenders to come into the place, come into the space as they say. They like using this term space, rural small business space. So, the actual entities making the loans are private firms. People use the term venture capital sometimes to describe what’s going on. It’s not, strictly speaking venture capital, but it’s like venture capital.”

Walsh says he doesn’t normally support tax incentives, but the rural market needs a leg up.

He says the bill has pretty strong bi-partisan support and now waits for executive action by the committee.

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