Ottawa Illinois, Aug 19, 2013 -- USDA-funded projects create jobs; bring hope to Illinois Valley
Dep. Under Secretary lauds success of loan guarantees in bolstering rural communities
OTTAWA, Illinois – August 19, 2013 – Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Patrice Kunesh today visited two USDA-funded projects in LaSalle County that have boosted job creation and heightened community-improvement opportunities in rural Illinois. The visit was part of the Obama administration’s continued effort to partner with local community lenders to promote economic opportunities in rural communities.
“These projects represent USDA’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for rural Americans," said Kunesh. "Small rural businesses create jobs, drive community revitalization, and supply products and services to local residents. USDA, through its Business and Industry and Community Facility loan guarantee programs, helps drive economic activity in Illinois and across the nation.”
Specifically, Rural Development has partnered with LaSalle’s Hometown National Bank on two local projects: Motorcycle Tour Conversions (MTC) Voyager and the Lily PADS Resale Boutique. In both instances, USDA provided guarantees on loans underwritten by the bank, which enabled it to offer the borrowers more attractive rates and terms.
In Ottawa, Kunesh toured MTC Voyager, which specializes in converting two-wheeled motorcycles into a more stable “trike” platform. Police departments in Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pa. use the converter kits. Rural Development funding in 2005 enabled the family-owned company to build a nearly 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility to accommodate its expanding business. Three additional, permanent jobs were created as a result of this expansion, and MTC Voyager currently employs 16.
In nearby Peru, Kunesh visited Lily PADS Resale Boutique, a community-supported funding vehicle for two Illinois Valley “Public Action to Deliver Shelter” (PADS) homeless shelters. Rural Development’s 2009 partnership with Hometown National Bank secured a loan guarantee PADS used to construct a new retail facility that enabled the organization to warehouse and sell goods from one location. The store has been so successful that Lily PADS recently expanded its storerooms and retail space again.
In addition to LaSalle, PADS serves more than 50,000 people in four Illinois counties: Marshall, Bureau, Grundy and Putnam, with shelters located in Ottawa and Peru. The organization estimates it has served more than 150,000 meals to area citizens since its inception in 1991.
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 has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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