News Release
Release No.STELPRD4019053
ContactTammi Schone605-352-1102
B&I Lender
Wall, SD, Dec 19, 2012 --

@@The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development honored First Interstate Bank today for their partnership in utilizing the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program to increase access to capital for businesses in rural areas of South Dakota, supporting jobs and improving the quality of life for residents living in the western part of the state.

“President Obama is committed to strengthening rural communities,” said Elsie Meeks, South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director. “Working with private lenders throughout the state, USDA Rural Development is able to increase investment capital, helping communities and local organizations build a strong business infrastructure to nurture economic growth.”

USDA Rural Development provided $1.07 million in Business and Industry Loan Guarantees for local lender First Interstate Bank that, through leveraging, assisted three businesses. These projects are expected to create four jobs and retain twenty-four.

“Rural Development has been a great partner for First Interstate Bank and our business loan customers in 2012. Their B&I program has provided us access to long term fixed rate financing for our rural business customers,” said Brett Blasius, President of First Interstate Bank Wall. “I feel that this partnership has strengthened our rural community by maintaining and in some cases, adding jobs, which are the result of attractive finance options to our customers.”

In Fiscal Year 2012, USDA Rural Development Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program made available $33.2 million that, through leveraging $128 million, assisted nine businesses.

The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits.

Visit for additional program information or to locate an USDA Rural Development Office nearest you.

For additional information on Rural Development projects, please 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:

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 $176 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.