WASHINGTON, Sep 14, 2012 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this week the selection of recipients in 14 states and one territory to receive loans to create or save jobs and boost local economies. Funding is provided through USDA's Intermediary Relending Program (IRP).
"This funding is part of the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to expand economic opportunity for rural entrepreneurs, helping businesses in our small towns and rural communities grow and create more jobs," Vilsack said. "These loans will continue our work to leverage private investment and help the rural economy grow."
Loans are provided to organizations (intermediaries) that re-lend the money to local businesses. In California, Sonoma County's SAFE-BIDCO was selected to receive a $400,000 loan to provide low-interest loans to businesses in Northern California. It is anticipated that a minimum of four businesses will be assisted and at least 16 jobs will be created and/or retained.
USDA's Intermediary Relending Program continues to bring economic opportunity to rural residents and business. For example, in 2011, SAFE-BIDCO assisted Mark Ervin owner of GreenGo, a small business in Windsor, Calif. that provides organic plant growth supplements. With the IRP loan, Ervin was able to purchase equipment and created three jobs, with plans to continue expansion and hire additional staff.
Under this announcement, USDA is providing $6.3 million for projects in 17 communities. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
For more information, visit Rural Development's new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, 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.
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