The Region 9 Economic Development District has been approved to receive $300K in business loans from the US Department of Agriculture.
The new Rural Micro entrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) is to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises with loans of $50K or less.
Microentrepreneurs are defined as an owner/operator, or prospective owner/operator, of a business who is unable to obtain sufficient training, technical assistance or credit and is located in a rural area (population 50,000 or fewer). A microenterprise is: a sole proprietorship or business in a rural area, with not more than 10 full-time employees.
Based on how much is loaned to a business, there is also up to $75K in grant funding for the entrepreneurs. The grants are in the form of technical assistance and can be used to: prepare for self-employment; improve the state of their existing rural business; and increase their technical capacity and business expertise.
“The benefit to this program is that there is grant money to help the businesses be successful with their loans, said Ed Morlan, Region 9 executive director. “Businesses need the mentoring and training opportunities, outside of just money in order to be successful.”
Region 9’s loan program provides “gap” financing from several sources to assist small business retention, expansion and job creation. For more information, please contact Region 9 at (970) 247-9621 or at www.scan.org.