Investments Will Help Create or Save Jobs in Rural Pennsylvania
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson 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 as well as 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.
“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. In Pennsylvania, this program included investments of more than $9 million with several jobs created and saved.
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. In Pennsylvania, this CARES program included investments of about $2 million that created four jobs and saved twelve.
To learn more about business investment resources for Pennsylvania’s rural areas, interested parties should contact the Business and Cooperative Programs Director, David Foster, at (717) 237-2181 or David.Foster@usda.gov.
To learn more, visit www.rd.usda.gov/pa.
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