Failure of public authorities to assist in financial investment
Small communities need long-term capital, and it is crucial to keep present businesses healthy and attract new ones; yet although some business and community groupings are experimenting with creative methods of ensuring their access to necessary capital (such as through credit unions, savings and loan associations, and local development companies), in general there tends to be no community vehicle for evaluating the viability of future investments, for planning comprehensive expansion of the economy, or for assisting in long-range planning. This is particularly true of communities based on agriculture, where it is evident that long-range planning is experienced as frustrating and difficult: unpredictable market prices and weather dependence make long-term loans difficult to obtain, discouraging many farmers from projecting their long-range capital needs. The success or failure of business ventures is seen as the responsibility of the owners, without financial or technical assistance from the community, in spite of the fact that such ventures affect the community dramatically. Complaints include the absence of estate planning to effectively transfer agricultural and business assets to succeeding generations and thus ensure the continuity of the local economy. Traditional lending institutions are reluctant to invest in small towns, and although long-term financing may be available for agriculture, business and housing from a variety of public sources, these tend not to be broadly explored or utilized.
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