A Jasper-based initiative has been awarded $250,000 to provide low-interest development loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development money will help Dubois Strong offer financing for rural business. July 23, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has approved $250,000 funding from its Intermediary Relending Program to Dubois Strong. The funds will be used to provide low-interest loans to public and non-profit organizations to relend for business and community development.

Indiana Rural Development State Director Philip Lehmkuhler stated, “As one part of USDA's efforts to strengthen the rural economy, this program is a part of the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to leverage private investments with public funds to create jobs and expand economic opportunity for rural entrepreneurs. Intermediaries serve as a critical component to boosting local economies.”

Dubois Strong is Dubois County, Indiana's economic development source for innovative entrepreneurs and thriving businesses. Dubois County is home to two publicly traded corporations and numerous other home-grown businesses that were born out of local entrepreneurship.

The Intermediary Relending Program is USDA Rural Development's primary program for capitalizing revolving loan funds. USDA lends money to economic development intermediaries (nonprofits and public bodies) who in turn re-lend the funds as commercial loans to rural businesses (ultimate recipients) that might not otherwise be able to obtain such financing. The repayment of the ultimate recipients' loans allows the intermediary to continue to make more loans to new recipients, supporting sustainable economic development. Since President Obama took office, the program has created or saved an estimated 20,000 jobs.

Funds are used to assist with financing business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. Intermediaries are encouraged to work with state and regional representatives and in partnership with other public and private organizations that can provide complimentary resources.

For more information about the Intermediary Relending Program, and to learn about application deadlines, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_irp.html.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Intermediary Relending Program is yet another reminder of the importance of Farm Bill programs for rural America. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy – and that's just one reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

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