News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018264
ContactChris J. Kanazawa808-933-8302
Chester M. Cabral808-933-8318
HILO, Hawaii, Sep 24, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Chris Kanazawa announced today the selection of Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) to receive an Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loan to promote economic development and job creation through increased business lending.

"These funds support the Obama Administrations ongoing effort to bring increased economic opportunity to rural small businesses and communities in the Western Pacific," Kanazawa said. "We have a long-standing partnership with PIDB and this award is a demonstration of our continued support for the mission of PIDB and to local businesses and business owners."

The total amount of loan announced today is $400,000. IRP provides funds to organizations to establish revolving loan pools that are used to finance business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in rural communities.

"PIDB has had a successful track record in providing assistance to rural small businesses in Guam, the CNMI, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands," stated Joseph Diego, Area Director for USDA Rural Development. "IRP funds will assist businesses to finance working capital, machinery and equipment and real estate-related transactions."

"The success of the IRP program is evident throughout the region and many small and medium size enterprises were established with direct financing from this program," stated Aren Palik, President and CEO of PIDB. "Small businesses and entrepreneurial skills are a vital component of economic growth and development, the IRP funds will be utilized primarily for that purpose."

The Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) has received over $2 million under this program and hundreds of jobs have been created or saved. The funds are used to finance approved business proposals from PIDB member islands which includes Guam, Republic of Palau, FSM States of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Republic of the Marshall Islands who attained its membership last year.

PIDB was established in 1989 to help accelerate economic and social development of member countries. It was created in response to a long-standing desire on the part of these small island nations for a development institution that would focus on the pressing needs and problems of the region.

PIDB helps foster sustainable economic and social development in the member countries through its lending program and operation, technical assistance, business advice and counseling, scholarship and internship program, and collaboration with regional governments and organizations. These programs run the gamut from promoting poverty reduction and improving standards of living to providing support for productive economic activities such as agriculture, fisheries, and small business.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 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.

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).