SAVANNAH Tenn., Aug 18, 2011 -- An inviting front door is the key to welcoming visitors to a city and its businesses. The city of Savannah is doing their part to support and attract small businesses in their downtown area to ultimately provide more jobs in the community.
A partnership between the city and USDA Rural Development (RD) will establish a revolving loan fund (RLF) geared at revitalizing downtown Savannah and encouraging small business growth and job creation in the area. A $30,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant will be combined with $30,000 from the city to fund the RLF.
The RLF will provide low-interest loan to small businesses looking to refurbish their building facades and updating aged store fronts. The renovation of the storefronts will allow store owners to keep the 34 current jobs as well as create 20 new positions.
"Small business is the economic engine of rural communities, creating jobs and helping maintain a healthy, diversified local economy," said RD Area Director Arlisa Armstrong. "By creating jobs today we are ensuring our position for future growth in the area."
Others participating in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Representative Matt Varino , Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Representative Johnny Blakely, Savannah Mayor Robert Shutt,
Savannah Industrial Development Corporation CEO Steve Bunnell, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Representative Tracey Exum and RD staff Joel Howard.
Rural Development business programs help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders to increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, businesses, community infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year Rural Development assisted more than 1.5 million rural Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.06 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan-guarantees and grants.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in southwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Jackson at 731-668-2091, ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 ext. 1495 or visit us at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795 -3272 TDD (615) 783-1397.