ST. PAUL, Minn., Sep 14, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that three development organizations in rural Minnesota have been selected to receive over $1.3 million to promote job creation and business development.
The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund in Duluth and the Waseca Development Authority each received loans through Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). The Plainview Economic Development Authority was selected to receive a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).
“These funds provide the technical support and the spark needed to help rural businesses grow,” Landkamer said. “Small businesses provide quality jobs in rural areas and this funding will foster an environment for sustainable job growth in these regions.”
Northeast Entrepreneur Fund
A $750,000 loan will be used to provide low-interest loans to public and non-profit organizations to relend for business and community development in a 10-county region. The funds will be leveraged with $250,000 of matching funds to capitalize a revolving loan fund of $1 million. The fund has the ability to initially assist approximately eight to 11 small businesses. The Northeast Entrepreneur Fund has been providing business startup loans since 1990.
Waseca Development Authority
A $500,000 loan will provide low-interest loans to public and non-profit organizations to relend for business and community development. Waseca County is working to become the epicenter of an agri-health movement and initial investment will focus on startups that provide value-added production of locally grown produce. Potential opportunities include manufacturing, marketing packaging, electronics, laboratories and ancillary businesses. The funds also will be available on a secondary basis to light manufacturing and environmental applicants.
Plainview Economic Development Authority (EDA)
A $79,000 grant will be used to help fund a business support center and incubator space within the “West Broadway Mall” space in downtown Plainview. The EDA will purchase the entire space for business development purposes and dedicate 5,000 square feet to a business support center that will provide technical assistance to business startups.
The RBEG and IRP programs are key components of USDA Rural Development’s activities to promote regional development across America.
RBEGs finance new and existing businesses as well as employment-related adult education programs. RBEG funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.
The Intermediary Relending Program provides working capital and other support to local businesses through qualified intermediaries.
The three projects in Minnesota were part of a national announcement of 69 projects totaling more than $15.5 million. For more information on Rural Development programs, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn.