USDA Business Programs Administrator Makes Recovery Summer Tour Stops and Addresses Financial Leaders in Nebraska
USDA Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judy Canales joined Nebraska Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul and staff earlier this month for Recovery Summer Tour stops in Pawnee City and the future Pawnee City Public Library.
“The Obama Administration is committed to revitalizing rural communities and bolstering existing private credit to help rural businesses grow,” Canales said. “These projects will improve the quality of life for rural residents while promoting job creation and sustainability in rural communities.”
Library officials gave a tour of the present Carnegie Library, which clearly revealed the need for a larger facility. Books were neatly packed in every corner and Pawnee City has clearly outgrown the 1907 Carnegie building and needs more space. Assistant Librarian Lola Seitz showed Canales, the project details for the new 6,500 square foot library; they then stepped outside the back door of the Carnegie to see where the future library will be built. The Pawnee City Public Library Foundation will use a Rural Development $160,000 Recovery Act loan and a $172,000 Recovery Act grant to assist in the purchase of the land and the associated construction and design costs.
The next stop was at SchillingBridge Winery and Microbrewery to discuss the benefits of the new bottling equipment purchased with $81,707 through the Recovery Act that helped to improve the efficiency of bottling their beer products. Schillings had, until recently, only been able to package and distribute their microbrewed beers in small kegs. The bottling machine and bottle labeler allows this small rural business to more efficiently package and distribute their microbrewed products as well as to reach a new market.
Later, Administrator Canales, State Director Moul and staff held a roundtable session in Omaha with a group of lenders, and representatives of development districts and micro entrepreneurs. The session was held to gain advice and feedback on USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry (B&I) loan guarantee program. Active discussion took place on the program’s makeup after ARRA funding is expended by September 30, and how policies and regulations would impact lenders and rural businesses.
“The Obama Administration is committed to bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits,” Canales said. “The suggestions we received from the meeting on B&I program improvements will help us meet the needs of lenders and rural Nebraska businesses.”