Microloan Program to Benefit Rural America
Posted on 11/05/2010 at 12:00 AM by Christa Hartsook
USDA selected recipients in 36 states to receive funds to make loans to boost small business development, create jobs, and strengthen rural communities. The funding is being provided through the Rural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program (RMAP), which was authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
In Lexington, Community Ventures Corporation was selected to receive a $500,000 loan and a $105,000 grant to provide financial and technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs. The organization serves rural businesses in 10 counties that have been designated as Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) communities, which are characterized by high unemployment rates, poverty and low per capita income.
The Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in London, Ky. was selected to receive a $500,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to provide employment opportunities in southeastern Kentucky through investments, training and management assistance. The corporation has administered micro-loans funds since 1992.
The purpose of RMAP is to support the creation, development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Under the program direct loans and grants are made to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs). The MDO uses the loan funds to establish, or recapitalize an RMAP-funded rural microloan revolving fund.
Eligible applicants may include microenterprises defined as a sole proprietorship located in a rural area or a business entity, located in a rural area, employing 10 people or fewer that are in need of $50,000 or less in business capital and/or in need of business based technical assistance and training. A microentrepreneur is defined as an owner and operator, or prospective owner and operator, of a microenterprise who is unable to obtain sufficient training, technical assistance, or credit other than under the RMAP.