Bozeman, Mont., Feb 05, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today seven recipients of funding to create or expand revolving loan programs for rural small businesses. Speaking from a food distribution warehouse just outside of Bozeman, Montana, USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino explained the value of the program on the Secretary’s behalf.
"These loans provide direct investment into rural small businesses," said Padalino. "Our economic development organizations make these funds available to owners who then expand and improve their operations. That brings economic growth and job creation, and creates a long-term source of capital for rural businesses. We are proud to play a part in making this happen."
Padalino spoke from Quality Foods of Montana, a natural and organic food distributor with contracts serving Yellowstone National Park and wholesale customers throughout southwestern Montana. Prospera Business Network manages the revolving loan fund in Gallatin and Park Counties of Montana and is providing the funding for Quality Foods. With this new loan from USDA, Prospera has over $850,000 in loan funds available for rural small businesses in its service area.
Six other recipients were announced today, including Mid-America Regional Development Incubator (MARDI) in Garden City, Mo.; Craft3 in Ilwaco, Wash.; Vermont 504 Corporation in Montpelier, Vt; Enterprise Development Fund of Erie County, Pa.; Cape & Islands Community Development of Centerville, Mass.; and Southwest Intermediary Finance Team (SWIFT) of Weatherford, Okla.
Through the Intermediary Relending Program, eligible entities borrow the funds from the USDA and then lend them out to rural small businesses that would not normally be able to access capital at affordable rates. Once these funds are repaid, they become available again for another borrower. The original USDA loan is paid off through the interest payments made by the ultimate borrowers.
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.
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)