Alexandria, LA, Jun 18, 2013 -- U. S. Department of Agricuture Rural Business-Cooperative Services Acting Administrator Lillian Salerno toured several successful small businesses and praised their owners for creating jobs and economic growth. Salerno came to Louisiana in support of National Small Business Week and to announce a $1.7 million USDA Business and Industry loan for equipment financing to Brudd Construction Company. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“USDA supports small rural businesses throughout Louisiana in an effort to maintain rural regional economic prosperity,” said Salerno. “I am excited to meet with business owners and community members to see the rich history these communities have and how small businesses play a vital role in its success.”
The trip began in Pollock, at Consolidated Energy Holdings. The company produces biodiesel from a variety of waste sources. Salerno continued her travels to Alexandria to speak at the Central Louisiana Business Incubator Small Business Appreciation Ceremony and tour Manchac Technologies, a previous recipient of USDA Rural Develoment’s “Business of the Year” award.
Salerno also visited All Hours Fitness, a recipient of a USDA Buisness and Industry Loan guarantee; and the Port of Avoyelles. The Port of Avoyelles received a Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist with business development and economic growth in Simmesport, La., and surrounding areas.
The next stop was Great Southern Galvanizing in Zachary, which received funding through the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. The financing through a local lender made it possible for the company to construct a new 53,000 square-foot plant. The company provides galvanizing services to the petrochemical, industrial, electrical, cellular communications, and offshore industries.
The trip ended in Covington with a tour of Techcrane, a small business that received funding from the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) and a visit to Hollygrove Market and Farm, a produce center and community garden food hub in New Orleans.
For more information on the USDA Rural Business Programs, visit
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Business.html. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
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 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 a portfolio of programs 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 and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)