15 USC § 653
Office of Rural Affairs
through Pub. L. 116-344, except Pub. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283

(a) Establishment
There is hereby established in the Small Business Administration an Office of Rural Affairs (hereafter in this section referred to as the "Office").

(b) Appointment of director
The Office shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the Administrator not later than 90 days after November 15, 1990.

(c) Functions
The Office shall—

(1) strive to achieve an equitable distribution of the financial assistance available from the Administration for small business concerns located in rural areas;

(2) to the extent practicable, compile annual statistics on rural areas, including statistics concerning the population, poverty, job creation and retention, unemployment, business failures, and business startups;

(3) provide information to industries, organizations, and State and local governments concerning the assistance available to rural small business concerns through the Administration and through other Federal departments and agencies;

(4) provide information to industries, organizations, educational institutions, and State and local governments concerning programs administered by private organizations, educational institutions, and Federal, State, and local governments which improve the economic opportunities of rural citizens; and

(5) work with the United States Tourism and Travel Administration to assist small businesses in rural areas with tourism promotion and development.

Catalog of Programs To Assist Rural Small Business Concerns

Pub. L. 101–574, title III, §304, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2829, required the Small Business Administration to compile a catalog of programs administered by Federal and State departments and agencies which offer assistance to small business concerns in rural areas by no later than 180 days after Nov. 15, 1990, and to issue updates of the catalog by Feb. 1, 1993, and Feb. 1, 1995.

Rural Small Business Conferences

Pub. L. 101–574, title III, §306, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2829, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration shall, as soon as practicable after the catalog (described in section 305 [probably means section 304, set out above] and hereinafter referred to as the 'catalog') is issued, but not later than 90 days after the date such catalog is issued, convene regional rural conferences in 5 cities or towns in the United States.

"(b) Preparations.—Prior to the conferences, the Office of Advocacy shall—

"(1) select the sites for the conferences in order to encourage the maximum participation of all interested parties including private citizens and representatives of business, government, educational and nonprofit institutions; and

"(2) distribute the catalog of programs and such other background materials prepared by the Office of Advocacy as the Chief Counsel deems appropriate.

"(c) Purposes of the Conferences.—The conference shall—

"(1) review the effectiveness of current Federal programs to promote rural small business and its needs, with particular reference to the catalog of such programs;

"(2) review how current Federal programs could be made more accessible to small businesses located in rural areas;

"(3) make recommendations on how current programs can be approved to better address small business needs in rural areas;

"(4) review the availability and cost of capital, transportation, and telecommunications in rural areas;

"(5) review the availability of technical assistance and training programs for small business needs in rural areas, including marketing, computer training, accounting, financing, and international trade; and

"(6) determine any additional needs of small businesses in rural areas.

"(d) Report.—The Chief Counsel for Advocacy shall prepare a summary of the findings and recommendations of each regional conference. Not later than 60 days after the last of the 5 regional conferences have been held, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy shall transmit such summaries to the Congress and the President, along with conclusions and recommendations, including specific legislative proposals and recommendations for administrative or other actions. The transmittal of the required information shall be deemed a report of the Chief Counsel for Advocacy under the terms and conditions of section 206 of Public Law 94–305 [15 U.S.C. 634f]. To the extent practicable, the report shall estimate the cost of implementing each recommendation of a regional conference as well as those of the Chief Counsel."

Rural Tourism Training Program

Pub. L. 101–574, title III, §311, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2832, provided that: "The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration shall conduct training sessions on the types of Federal assistance available for the development of rural small businesses engaged in tourism and tourism-related activities. Such training sessions shall be conducted in conjunction with the Office of Rural Affairs (established pursuant to section 26 of the Small Business Act [15 U.S.C. 653]) and appropriate personnel designated by each district office of the Administration."

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