During the past year, nearly $3 billion in guaranteed loans were issued through The USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program to lenders across the country as they worked with local businesses to help create jobs in rural America.
Recently, Business - Cooperative Programs Administrator Judy Canales joined Congressman Leonard Boswell and State Director Bill Menner in visiting Knoxville, Iowa, to see first-hand how B&I guaranteed loans are being used to help a local manufacturing business expand.
Weiler Inc. of Knoxville is an engineering-based manufacturer of construction equipment including material transfer vehicles, road wideners, pavers and road graders for the paving market.
Company president Pat Weiler opened his business in 2000 and is now in the process of his third expansion. B&I guaranteed loan funds are being used by the company to help provide long-term financing and assist with this current facility growth.
"The manufacturing industry is the second largest user of our B&I program," Canales said. "We are proud to be included in this partnership with Iowa State Savings Bank and Weiler. Manufacturing companies such as this one play an import role in the growth of rural America."
Bob Wims, with Iowa State Bank, said one of the best features of USDA Rural Development's guaranteed loan program is the personal and responsive service he receives from the USDA's field team in Iowa. He also said the B&I program is having a strong benefit in rural America during some tough economic times.
The B&I program gives lenders a stronger incentive to make loans to rural businesses and those businesses have a better chance of getting the financing and terms they need so their businesses can thrive.
As part of her Iowa visit Administer Canales and State Director Menner also met with a lender and other partners in Newton to discuss ways the community could continue filling space in a large appliance manufacturing facility that has been mostly idle since 2008.
Community leaders have filled some of the space by recruiting smaller businesses including Trinity Structural Towers, a manufacturer of wind turbine towers and TPI Composites, who manufactures blades for wind turbines.
Amazingly, it took less than a year to retrofit a portion of this facility that once produced washing machines to now constructing mammoth wind turbine towers.
More than 30 businesses in rural Iowa accessed nearly $107 million in guaranteed loan funds through USDA Rural Development during the past year. The agency's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program partners the USDA with lenders to back the business of rural America.
For more information about finance programs through USDA Rural Development, please visit www.rurdev.usda.gov.