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USDA OKs $21.3M in financing to Puerto Rico tugboat operator

The US Department of Agriculture announced the approval a $21.3 million loan to Borinken Marine Group LLC, a tugboat operator based in Cayey.

The federal agency’s investment will be used to refinance debt associated with eight tugboats and one barge, and as a working capital injection.

Borinken Marine Group LLC is engaged in the charter of tugboats for towing ship operations in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean. It was established in 2013 and currently has about 11 employees.

The financing is part of a global $772 million investment that the USDA is making to help create new and better market opportunities for rural businesses and people in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The investments include $640 million for 122 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities.

The funding is expected to help with job training, business expansion and technical assistance.

“It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. It will also help entrepreneurs and business cooperatives create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

USDA is making the investments through three programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas — the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

The USDA’s Rural Development program provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas.

This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural and high-poverty areas.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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