Rural Health Care Gets Boost Through Small Business Lending Programs

While rural Americans make up 20-25 percent of the nation’s population, only nine percent of the nation’s physicians work in rural areas, according to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.

However, some rural communities are working to change those numbers by utilizing the lending programs of Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc., in partnership with the U. S. Small Business Administration and local banks.

Examples of what’s happening in rural Oklahoma communities like Durant, McAlester, McLoud, Owasso, Ponca City and Guthrie, abound.

The Sturch Family Clinic in Durant has a 4,290 sq. ft. expansion project underway with help of REI, SBA and First United Bank & Trust.  The expansion will make room for additional medical professionals to further increase access to health care for area citizens, according to an REI press release.

In McAlester, KidzChoice, PC is bringing specialized medical care to patients from birth to
 age 21 and in Guthrie, the Ringrose Clinic, Inc. offers medical care specializing in gastroenterology/endoscopy procedures.  Both medical care businesses chose business financing available through REI, their local lenders and SBA, the release said.

Similar projects can be found in Owasso and Ponca City.  The Owasso Family Chiropractic, Inc. and the dental offices of Phillip A. Tyndall in Ponca City also utilized these working partnerships to obtain the needed financing for their chiropractic and dental service businesses.

 “Business financing is still very much accessible and readily available, even in today’s economic environment,” said Tom Seth Smith, REI President & CEO.  “REI still has funds available for lending and we aren’t limited to one program – we have quite diversity and we can help the business choose the one best suited for its particular need.”

Smith also said REI offers more than the initial business financing.

  “We go beyond the norm and provide technical assistance and even training workshops to help the business along the way and we have five office locations so our services and assistance are available statewide,” he said.

 REI is a non-profit economic development organization with a mission to create jobs and stimulate the economy through business assistance services.  For a complete overview of services and office locations, visit  REI also has Facebook and Twitter  accounts.  Just search for “Rural Enterprises” and become an REI fan to stay up to date on all programs and activities.

Information may also be obtained by calling 800-658-2823.

Last Updated ( Monday, 24 August 2009 )