Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food – Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I) | USDA
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Grants, Loans, and Support

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program (B&I)

Type: Guaranteed Loans

Max award: $10 million, with some exceptions allowing up to $40 million

Big idea: To help new and existing businesses based in rural areas gain access to affordable capital, USDA provides guarantees on loans made by private lenders. By issuing a guarantee, USDA essentially co-signs the loan with the loan recipient, lowering the lender's risk and allowing for more favorable interest rates and terms.

The 2008 Farm Bill placed a special emphasis on supporting businesses that establish and facilitate the processing, distribution, aggregation, storing and marketing of locally or regionally produced food products.

Who can apply: Cooperatives, non-profit organizations, corporations, partnerships, or other legal entities; Indian tribes; public bodies; or individuals

Real example: Prairieland Foods is a locally-owned and operated business in Hallam, Nebraska. With the support of a B&I Guaranteed Loan for $650,000, Prairieland purchased a new dairy processing facility to meet the growing demand for local, source-verified supply of milk and, eventually, a diverse array of dairy products.

Possibilities: Loans can be used for a wide variety of business activities, including:

  • Business conversion, expansion, repair, modernization, or development;
  • Purchase and development of land, easements, rights-of-way, buildings or facilities;
  • Purchase of equipment, leasehold improvements, machinery, supplies, or inventory;
  • Working capital and debt refinancing.

Get more information: Ask your local lender if they are aware of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program. For more program information, please visit the Business and Industry Loan Guarantees page, and to apply for any USDA Rural Development program contact your state or local office.