Microloans aren't just for developing countries anymore. In fact, late last week Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the agency has selected recipients in 36 states to receive funds to make loans to boost small business development, create jobs and strengthen rural communities.
The funding comes through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
In a press statement, Merrigan notes the program " continues the effort of the Obama Administration to rebuild and revitalize rural communities. In many cases, an entrepreneur needs only a small amount of money, a microloan, to get started."
Merrigan made the announcement in Lexington, Ky., where the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation was selected to receive a $500,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to provide employment opportunities in southeastern Kentucky through investments, training and management assistance. The corporation has administered micro-loans since 1992.
The purpose of RMAP is to support the creation, development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Under the program direct loans and grants are made to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs). The MDO uses the loan funds to establish, or recapitalize an RMAP-funded rural microloan revolving fund.
For a complete listing of microloan and grant recipients in this latest round, just click HERE.