Fresno, CA, Feb 14, 2012 -- Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien today joined Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Associate Administrator Harry Haskins in Fresno to discuss opportunities to promote rural small business investment and job creation. The rural investment roundtable event was held at the Fresno Council of Governments.
As part of the Startup America Initiative, SBA recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Impact Investment Fund through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2:1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments.
As part of the President's job creation initiative in rural America, SBA and USDA are partnering in an effort to leverage $350 million dollars in investment capital. This initiative is designed to support rural small businesses in California over the next five years. O'Brien joined California Rural Development State Director Glenda Humiston and SBA officials in conversation with investors and economic development leaders from across the Golden State to explore ways the private and public sectors could partner to increase investment in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov
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