Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday announced that applications are being accepted from qualified non-profit and public organizations to provide loans to support rural businesses and community development groups.
Funding, which is intended to spark business expansion and create jobs will be made available through USDA's Intermediary Relending Program.
The Intermediary Relending Program is USDA Rural Development's primary program for capitalizing revolving loan funds. USDA lends money to economic development intermediaries (nonprofits and public bodies) who in turn re-lend the funds as commercial loans to rural businesses (ultimate recipients) that might not otherwise be able to obtain such financing.
The repayment of the ultimate recipients' loans allows the intermediary to continue to make more loans to new recipients, supporting sustainable economic development.
USDA says since President Obama took office, the program has created or saved an estimated 20,000 jobs.
Funds are used to assist with financing business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. Intermediaries are encouraged to work with state and regional representatives and in partnership with other public and private organizations that can provide complimentary resources.
For example, last year a $500,000 IRP loan was awarded to the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries to establish a revolving loan fund providing low-interest loans to ultimate recipients for energy efficient and energy saving projects.
The first low-interest loan from ADAI assisted with equipment purchases for a new, small rural Alabama business. The business opening created seven jobs.
Click for more information about the USDA Intermediary Relending Program, and to learn about application deadlines.