Last week, Molly Lambert, State Director of the Vermont Rural Development State Office, (RD) joined me in hosting the state’s first “Intermediary Relending Program and Creative Financing Roundtable.” Meeting participants, including leaders from Vermont’s economic and community development centers, met at the Vermont Economic Development Authority office located in Montpelier, Vermont.
The purpose of the meeting was to explore ways to promote the distribution of more than $5 million in funds to Vermont’s rural small business entrepreneurs using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). These enthusiastic participants, who have keen insight into the state’s industries and barriers to capital, learned that working collaboratively will benefit all Vermont communities.
During the opening part of the meeting, staff from the Vermont USDA State Office gave the state’s Intermediary Relending providers updates on the administration of IRP loans. The session then moved to a discussion of trends, observations, and economic opportunities for the small businesses in their respective areas. Read more »
It was lights, camera and action as a videographer for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) traveled across eastern South Dakota. Hosted by the Rural Electric Economic Development, Inc. (REED) Fund, video interviews documented the businesses and partners that make REED’s revolving loan fund such a success.
A stop on the tour included Dakota Style, a home grown business located by Clark, SD. Dakota Style started making their own potato chips 25 years ago and has expanded into sunflower seeds and salad toppers. When progress led to a large national contract, they needed space for packaging equipment and storage for shipment. Read more »
Since 1997, Prairieland Economic Development Commission in Slayton, Minnesota, has been partnering with USDA Rural Development and local lenders to grow the economy and create jobs in southwestern Minnesota.
Prairieland has financed over 60 rural businesses and helped create hundreds of jobs using funds provided through four Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) awards from Rural Development. Prairieland’s main service area covers southwestern Minnesota and portions of northwest Iowa and eastern South Dakota.
John Padalino, the acting administrator of Rural Development’s business and cooperative programs, visited Worthington, Minn., on May 22 to see firsthand the impact Prairieland’s IRP investments are making in the community. Read more »
Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development Minnesota State Director; Tom Smude; Jenni Smude; Carol Anderson, Community Development of Morrison County.
On a farm in small-town Pierz, Minnesota, Tom and Jenni Smude are breaking new ground in the cooking oil business. Tom and Jenni started Smude’s Natural Sunflower Oil in February of 2010 and have enjoyed the ride ever since. What began as an idea to grow a drought-tolerant crop transformed into a rural small-business success story with the potential to become something even bigger. Read more »
The City of Murdo, South Dakota, is located at the crossroads of Interstate 90 and Highway 83 in the middle of the State. A town with a population of 500 in a county with one person per square mile; Murdo has several new businesses and recreational activities that keeps the town thriving.
An all-volunteer Murdo Development Corporation manages a local revolving loan fund started through a USDA Rural Development Rural Business and Enterprise Grant (RBEG). From creating jobs to helping to retain them at the local golf course to funding improvements to the local grocery store, Murdo Family Foods, the loan fund has assisted in the growth of the community. Read more »
Beadle and Spink Enterprise Community (BASEC) just made its 500th loan and through its revolving loan program has loaned over $16 million dollars to improve the economic and housing climate of part of South Dakota since 1996. BASEC (named after the two counties it serves) has less than a 1 percent default rate and has made loans to all income levels with the majority being low to moderate income applicants. Some of the borrowers have had excellent credit histories and some not so good. Executive Director Lori Hintz feels the key to the low default rate besides the fact that great people live in the service area, is that when times get tough, they try to work out a plan that works for them, their cash flow and their situation. Read more »