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USDA Rural Development Participates in the Vermont Small Business Lending Conference

By Anita Rios Moore, USDA Rural Development, Vermont

Molly Lambert, USDA Rural Development State Director for Vermont and key Vermont Business and Cooperative Program staff participated recently in the Vermont Small Business Lending Conference presented by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.

The conference purpose was to bring as many small business lending opportunities and business development resources such as, lender, Government procurement counselors and Small Business Development Centers, directly to small businesses interested in learning about the available business lending opportunities that will help them to invest in job creation and business growth.

USDA Rural Development staff along with representatives from 35 other traditional and non-traditional lenders, and resource organizations met face-to-face with small business owners. Business Programs Loan Specialist, Kevin Morehouse engaged with an assortment of business owners ranging from winery & vineyard, organic food and baked goods operations, to award & gift product line distributors. He and the business owners  discussed next steps which might include a recommendation to meet with a financial advisor to review business plan and organize the business’ loan proposal.

“This conference brings the lenders and the resources to the business,” said State Director Lambert.“After one year of Recovery Act efforts, we are seeing people back to work, and economic growth, yet many small businesses still need the type of assistance and resources offered to them at conferences and workshops like this.”

USDA Water Program Funds Assist a Mississippi Community

Last month, Mississippi Rural Development State Director Trina George organized an event in the town of Leland which spotlighted a loan and grant combination awarded to Black Bayou Water Association. Read more »

Two New USDA Resources Announced to Help Reduce Hunger

By Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, USDA

Today was a great day for increasing access to SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) benefits.  Here in Washington, I was joined by leaders from the food retail community, to announce two Federal resources to expand opportunities to nourish those in need.  A new sign for retailers, “We Welcome SNAP,” will now be displayed that will alter the way participants view these vital benefits.  While the new SNAP Retailer Locator, also announced today, is a convenient online tool that helps recipients find locations that accept – make that welcome – SNAP benefits and helps them make more informed shopping choices.

These two resources will also strengthen businesses.  Research shows us that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9.20 in total economic activity.  This is good news, since SNAP dollars move quickly into local economies.  In fact, 97 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed within a month.

Whether it’s a new sign to welcome recipients and provide more comfort using their benefits or establishing ways to easily find stores welcoming  SNAP benefits, the Obama Administration is continuing its goal to ensure access to healthy nutrition for all Americans.

To learn more about the SNAP Retailer Locator, visit the web.

Snapshot of the Food and Nutrition Service's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retail locater.

Snapshot of the Food and Nutrition Service’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retail locater.