It took Bernard Garcia 14 years to see his dream take shape. It was not for lack of trying, but due to invisible barriers that keep him and other indigenous entrepreneurs who do business on Tribal lands from expanding.
Known for its more than 400 wineries, Sonoma County often conjures images of the California dream. The area, along with neighboring Napa County, is informally referred to as wine country and often seen as a playground for the affluent. The reality on the ground is quite different.
In summer 2020, small business owner Michael Blecha had to take a hard look at his business, Kinnon Entertainment. The concert production industry was poised to have its best year ever just a few months earlier. More than 600 venues booked Kinnon through December—a record-breaking year for Blecha.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) embarked on its journey in 2012 to help homebuyers access affordable mortgages through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) 502 Direct Loan Program. After nearly a decade RCAC built a powerhouse partnership network across the rural West and beyond.
After a community lifts fire evacuation orders and it is safe to return home, the real work begins. When a disaster affects a water system, it could be weeks or months before potable water is widely available. The water system’s long to-do list includes public relations, engineering, finances and even relocating meters.