News Release
Release No.STELPRD4009299
OSAKIS, Mar 17, 2011 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer visited Hutchinson today to award the Southwest Initiative Foundation a $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant.

The funds come from Rural Development’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) and will assist rural entrepreneurs. It is the first RMAP awarded in Minnesota.

“These funds will help small, start-up businesses access needed capital,” Landkamer said. “Sometimes a small loan is all an entrepreneur needs to start a business, produce a product, and win the future. The Southwest Initiative Foundation has a strong track record in assisting rural businesses and I am looking forward to watching the positive results develop from this funding.”

Under the RMAP program, funds are provided to an intermediary who re-lends the dollars to rural entrepreneurs and microenterprises. In this case, the Southwest Initiative Foundation will use the $500,000 loan for re-lending purposes and the $105,000 grant to provide technical assistance and training to rural entrepreneurs in the region.

“Our region has a very strong entrepreneurial spirit,” said Southwest Initiative Foundation President/CEO Sherry Ristau. “When combined with the right resources, including technical assistance at various stages of their business ventures, we’ve seen entrepreneurs accomplish great things for our communities, region and economy.”

Contact Southwest Initiative Foundation at 800-594-9480 or to inquire about business loan opportunities. To learn more about Rural Development programs in the areas of business, housing and infrastructure, contact the Cambridge area office at (763) 689-3354, ext. 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, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).