(06/13/2008)
Morgantown, WV - USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for the Guaranteed Business and Industry Loan Program. This program funding strengthens rural West Virginia communities by creating and maintaining employment.

"The Guaranteed Business and Industry Loan Program improves the economic and environmental climate in rural communities to result in lasting community benefits," explained State Director Rick E. Rice.

The B&I Guaranteed Loan Program allows lenders to make larger loans, provide more competitive rates and longer terms, and bring additional capital into the community. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, purchase of machinery and equipment, purchase of buildings and real estate, and certain types of debt refinancing. Banks and other authorized commercial lenders target communities with populations of 50,000 or less and locations not closely associated with urban areas. Priority is given to applications for loans in rural communities with a population of 25,000 people or less.

Although a borrower may get several loans for a project, Rural Development will not guarantee more than $25 million in loans. Rural Development will guarantee 80 percent of a loan of $5 million or less; 70 percent for loans between $5 million and $10 million; and 60 percent for loans between $10 million and $25 million. Loans for working capital must be repaid within seven years; loans for machinery and equipment within 15 years (or useful life); and loans for real estate within 30 years. A borrower must have collateral sufficient to protect the interests of the lender and the government. Personal and/or corporate guarantees are required in some cases.

Interest rates for loans may be fixed or variable and are negotiated between the lender and borrower. The lender performs a credit analysis and determines whether the borrower has adequate equity, cash flow, collateral, history, and the managerial capacity to execute the project.

Rural Development serves as the lead Federal entity for rural development needs and administers program assistance through its housing programs, business programs, and utilities programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Further information on USDA Rural Development may be obtained by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov. In West Virginia, call 1-800-295-8228 to be put in touch with the appropriate personnel.


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