During these hard economic times we know that one of the best ways to help aid our Country in the recovery process is to assist and build businesses that create jobs, and spur growth. In Wisconsin, we had the opportunity to celebrate and highlight our successful efforts from the past year.
USDA Rural Development Rural Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator, Judith Canales, joined U.S. Senator Herbert Kohl and USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director, Stan Gruszynski, at a luncheon event honoring Ridgestone Bank in Brookfield, Wis. Ridgestone Bank was the number one Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program lender in the Nation in 2010.
Administrator Canales presented Ridgestone Bank with an award recognizing the outstanding performance utilizing the USDA Rural Development B&I Guaranteed Loan Program. During the past year, Ridgestone Bank approved more than $84 million in loans to assist and grow rural businesses, both here in Wis. and across the Nation, through the USDA Rural Development program. Bruce Lammers, President of Ridgestone Bank, accepted the award on behalf of the Board of Directors and employees of the financial institution.
In 2009, Wisconsin ranked number one in the nation for their USDA Rural Development B&I Guaranteed Loan Program activity. This past year, nearly $165 million assisted 39 Wisconsin businesses, saving more than 4,860 jobs, and helping to create more than 500 additional jobs; ranking Wisconsin third nationally.
Following the Award Celebration, Administrator Canales had the opportunity to tour a business that has benefited from the partnership of USDA Rural Development and Ridgestone Bank; Serigraph, Inc. in West Bend, Wis.
Serigraph, Inc. received a B&I Guaranteed Loan through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2010. The firm is an industry leader in printing, molding, and custom graphics In addition to six facilities and their headquarters in West Bend, Serigraph has four other plants around the globe. The funding helped to save 460 jobs and add another 50.
Both Ridgestone Bank and Serigraph demonstrate that the USDA Rural Development B&I Guaranteed Loan Program supports businesses and the creation/retention of jobs in rural areas and enables businesses to establish long-term financing for growth and expansion opportunities.
To learn more about USDA’s business programs click here.