Community Economic Development
Economic development in New York's isolated rural areas poses unique and critical challenges. Once self-sufficient and economically viable, our rural communities increasingly face the reality of downsizing, layoffs and the resulting low wages and job shortages. The Rural Law Center provides legal support and assistance statewide to home-based and local business development. We believe that this type of development is most sustainable in rural regions and will lead to the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities for low-income rural New Yorkers. The Center has been a strong advocate for Incubator/Shared Use Kitchen Programs, and has provided legal assistance in support of these facilities. Such facilities, which offer low cost space and support services for small food businesses, are especially valuable to the often precarious rural economy.
The Rural Law Center has been a strong advocate for legislation which will meet the needs of those living in low income and disinvested communities. Since locating and obtaining financing is critical for a potential micro-enterprise operator, we support the local use of Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) funds and a statewide Individual Development Account (IDA) Demonstration Project.