USDA Gives Loan Fund Nearly $200,000

Primghar, Iowa — The USDA has released some background information about the federal grant that the O’Brien County Revolving Loan Fund administrators were told the fund would receive.
USDA RD Rural Development
O’Brien County Economic Development Director Kiana Johnson says they were told in July that they would be receiving nearly $200,000 for the revolving loan fund, as we have reported earlier.

On Tuesday, September 29th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded nearly $20 million through 385 grants to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. Five of the grants totaling $321,000 are being awarded to organizations serving rural Iowans.

Vilsack says that these grants will strengthen the economic fabric of rural small towns and communities by providing capital to small and emerging businesses.

USDA is awarding the grants through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. Recipients may use the funds to provide technical assistance, training and job-creation activities.

The O’Brien County Revolving Loan Fund received more money by far than any other Iowa entity, with a grant of $196,910. The University of Northern Iowa Institute for Decision Making received $32,000. Charles City Development received $26,270. Estherville Industrial Development received $25,000. Indian Hills Community College received $40,820.

Development Director Johnson says the USDA told them why they scored so high.

She says nearly all of the dollars from the grant are already spoken for. Two projects, whose identities need to be kept private at this time will receive most of the loan funds. One will get a $120,000 loan, and the other project will get a $70,000 loan. She says one of the projects is an expanding business and the other is a business succession — a situation in which the business owner is retiring and has found someone who wants to buy the business.

Johnson says they also have an application in to the USDA for even more funding for the revolving loan fund.

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