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 click here, and to apply for any USDA Rural Development program contact your state or local office here.