News Release
Release No.STELPRD4018275
ContactAdam Czech(651) 602-7799
CARLTON, Minn., Sep 20, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer visited Carlton today to highlight a $99,000 grant to Carlton County that will establish a revolving loan fund, and to meet with local small business owners who have previously used USDA loans.

“Small businesses drive job creation and economic development in our rural communities,” Landkamer said. “USDA offers several programs that partner with local governments and private lending sources to make sure small rural businesses have access to the capital required to stay competitive, grow and continue creating jobs during the economic recovery.”

The $99,000 grant comes from USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, which provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, distance learning projects, or adult education programs.

Carlton County is providing $50,000 in matching funds and will establish a revolving loan fund for small businesses in the county. As each low-interest loan is repaid, the county is able to make additional loans to other businesses. Carlton County previously received a $196,000 Intermediary Relending Program loan and a separate $99,000 RBEG to assist area small businesses.

Several business owners in Carlton County that have previously accessed USDA loans attended Monday’s event.

“The USDA loan helped us provide assisted living services for seniors in our community,” said Dan and Sue Benzie of Benzie Properties. “It helped secure the confidence of our local lender, allowing the remaining mortgage dollars to stay in the community.”

Added Chris Matthews, president of Advanced Design Awnings and Signs, Inc.: “USDA’s loan program made our growth acquisition possible.”

“Without the USDA loan,” said Terry and Char Barnes of Barnes Care, Inc., “we would not have been able to construct our building.”

USDA Rural Development funds have established revolving loan funds in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties. To access a database of these funds, visit These funds may also be combined with financing from private lenders or other lending sources from other business assistance organizations.

In addition to business growth and job creation, Rural Development also invests in housing, infrastructure, renewable energy and broadband Internet. Since 2009, the agency has invested over $3 billion throughout Minnesota.

To learn more about Rural Development programs, visit, or call the local offices in Baxter at (218) 829-5965, ext. 4 or in Virginia at (218) 741-3929, ext. 4.