West Bend, Iowa, May 24, 2012 -- As part of USDA’s effort to observe “National Business Week” and to highlight assistance provided to small rural businesses, USDA Rural Development Business and Cooperative Programs Acting Administrator John Padalino today visited a flourishing small business in northwest Iowa. The firm, Country Maid, makers of a line of pastries, last year celebrated its 20th year in business.
“To think that Country Maid started in a farmhouse basement just 20 years ago is amazing,” Padalino said. “With more than 70 full-time and part-time employees, Country Maid is one of this community’s largest employers. It is a true business success.”
USDA Rural Development first started working with Country Maid in 1996, providing funds to help construct a building that was ultimately purchased by the company. As Country Maid has grown over the years, the community and local, state and federal partners have worked to make sure it remains in West Bend. For example, the partners worked to finance and develop an industrial park that is now home to Country Maid’s office and production facilities. The company moved into the new facilities in February 2011.
West Bend is a tremendous example of a community that believes in the benefits of investing money in local businesses or community-betterment efforts. During the past 30 years, community leaders have put out multiple calls to businesses and residents asking them to help save local businesses, create new ones and even keep the local school from closing.
Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to using Federal resources more efficiently to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $2 billion dollars on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.
USDA Rural Development is working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, community infrastructure and community facility loan and grant programs that are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and to improve the quality of life in rural America.
This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.
Contact USDA Rural Development
For more information about finance programs available through USDA Rural Development, please call the office located in Storm Lake at (712) 732-1851 Ext. 4. This office serves communities, businesses and residents in Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Palo Alto, Pocahontas and Sac Counties.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.
Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting the agency’s web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.
USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.
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