Rural Health Care Boosted Through Small Business

Rural Americans make up about 20-25 percent of the nation’s population but only 9 percent of the nation’s physicians practice in rural areas, according to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.
But some rural communities are putting those statistics to the test because health care providers are utilizing the lending programs of Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma Inc. in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and local banks.
That’s what has been happening in rural communities like Durant, McAlester, McLoud, Owasso, Ponca City and Guthrie.
A recent expansion of a health care facility is the Sturch Family Clinic in Durant. The 4,290 SF expansion project is being accomplished through the working partnerships 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.
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.
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.

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