USDA Rural Development and Small Business Administration Work Together to Foster Business Growth

Posted on 06/10/2010 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Small Business (SBA) Administrator Karen G. Mills announced that the two agencies have signed an agreement to encourage sustainable growth and development of rural small businesses. The announcement was made during the National Summit of Rural America, which gathered agricultural leaders, farmers, ranchers, community leaders, and residents of rural communities to share their vision and ideas that can help rebuild and revitalize rural America.

The agreement between the SBA and USDA is designed to reach out to people and places in rural areas and small communities with underserved financial needs. Prospective small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans also are expected to benefit from this joint effort to encourage sustainable growth and development. USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Service will provide loan guarantees, loans and grants; the Small Business Administration will provide loan guarantees.

The MOU will remain in effect for three years. Under the agreement, USDA Rural Development and SBA will use their respective resources to provide small businesses in rural areas with loan guarantees and technical assistance to help build diverse and sustainable economies, reverse population decline, create and sustain jobs, and improve quality of life. The agreement is expected to:

  • Improve opportunities for small businesses to start and grow;
  • Improve coordination in the delivery and development of programs; and
  • Increase the number of small business loans guaranteed by USDA and SBA.

Key goals of this partnership include strengthening marketing and outreach by enabling each Agency's field offices to advise potential small business borrowers of the other Agency's credit programs that may support all or a portion of the small business' financing needs. USDA Rural Development and SBA field offices will exchange promotional and reference materials, including brochures and training schedules, and will distribute the other Agency's information to its field network and its potential applicants when appropriate.

Categories: News Release