News Release
Release No.STELPRD4009202
ContactNeil Miller(816) 364-3767 Ext 4
St. Joseph, MO, Mar 24, 2011 --

@@On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Janie Dunning, Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development (RD), presented Mo-Kan Development Inc. a Certificate in recognition of their $500,000 award in funding through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). The funding to Mo-Kan Development Inc. will be used for providing small business loans, technical assistance, and training to rural micro entrepreneurs and microenterprises.

Mo-Kan was one of only eight organizations nationwide selected for funding under RD’s RMAP. Under this program Mo-Kan will serve as an intermediary who “re-lends” the funds to entrepreneurs and microenterprises.

Mo-Kan was approved for a $400,000 loan and a $100,000 grant along with $15,000 in the recipient’s contribution. The total $515,000 will be used to assist rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in rural areas. The RD loan funds will be used to make loans of $50,000 or less to small businesses having 10 or fewer employees, in rural areas.  The RD grant funds will be used to provide technical assistance to those businesses. 

The RMAP purpose is to provide direct loans and technical assistance grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations to support the development of ongoing success of rural micro entrepreneurs and microenterprises in rural areas. It is very similar to the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). In both the RMAP and IRP, Rural Development makes a loan to a non-profit organization, as in this case – Mo-Kan, who will use the loan to establish a revolving loan fund, which will then be used to make loans to the ultimate recipient businesses for job creation and economic development.

“Our nation’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create half of all private sector jobs. Often these small businesses, especially in rural areas, need capital or technical assistance to get started,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “This funding will assist MO-Kan Development in their mission of giving small businesses and rural entrepreneurs the tools they need to thrive and make decisions that are critically important to their success.”

Tom Bliss, Executive Director for Mo-Kan, said, “We are extremely happy to receive these federal funds. It will allow us to assist eligible applicants with financing their business dreams. The service area for Mo-Kan includes Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan (excluding St. Joseph due to population size), Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth in Missouri; and Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson and Nemaha counties in Kansas. Interested parties for this financing or assistance can contact Jon Ecker ( or Roni Mauer ( at 224 North 7th Street, St. Joseph, Missouri 64501 or by calling 816-233-3144.”

“Sometimes, a small loan is all an entrepreneur needs to start a business or produce a product,” said Dunning. “Through RMAP, RD is working with Mo-Kan to help small, start-up businesses gain the financing, technical assistance and training they need to be successful.”

Dunning added, “This type of assistance mirrors USDA Rural Development’s mission and President Obama’s initiative of being committed to the future of rural communities. Appreciation is extended to our federal elected officials for supporting USDA Rural Development. They have been strong proponents for the necessary funding for essential services for rural Missourians.”

To learn more about this program please visit

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available on the Missouri’s homepage at or by contacting the St. Joseph Rural Development Area Office, 3915 Oakland Avenue, St. Joseph, MO 64506 or by calling (816) 364 – 3767 (extension #4).

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.” To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).