24 August 2021, America: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that USDA is on track to provide a record level of support for rural working capital and other business capital needs in fiscal year 2021.
The Department has invested $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses in 41 states, Guam and the Virgin Islands. These investments – made through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Business and Industry CARES Act Program – are expected to create or save more than 12,000 jobs for people in rural areas.
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“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA is expanding access to capital to prioritize rural economic development,” Maxson said. “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the economy, USDA remains committed to helping rural businesses create job opportunities so rural Americans can build back better and stronger than ever before.”
USDA has invested $811 million through the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program since the start of the current fiscal year. This assistance has helped businesses create or save more than 6,000 jobs in rural areas.
Investments under the B&I program are 36 percent higher than they were this time last year. Applications have increased by 44 percent. These increases are due in part to a series of program improvements USDA adopted under the new OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative.
This initiative increased the USDA loan guarantee to 80 percent for investments greater than $5 million. The previous guarantee percentages were 70 percent for loans less than $10 million and 60 percent for loans greater than $10 million. This improvement has made the program more attractive to capital-intensive businesses such as manufacturing companies.
USDA also invested $380 million in rural businesses through the Business and Industry CARES Act Program, which was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This assistance has helped rural businesses create or save more than 6,000 jobs in rural areas.
These investments USDA is announcing today are helping rural businesses and workers in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.