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USDA opens call to establish revolving loan programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it is seeking applications for funding to establish revolving loan programs to support rural businesses and community development projects.

Subject to the availability of funds, the loans will be established through USDA’s Intermediary Relending Program. Eligible recipients include nonprofits, cooperatives and public agencies.

“The Intermediary Relending Program provides loans to intermediaries for the establishment of revolving loan funds in rural areas,” said Josué E. Rivera, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico.

“Intermediaries may lend to ultimate recipient borrowers for acquisition, construction, rehabilitation or improvements, purchase or develop land for commercial purposes, machinery and equipment, supplies, or for start-up costs and working capital,” he said.

In recent years, the Camuy Merchants Association was able to help its clients to get inventory, remodel or start a new project, while the Corporation for the Economic Development of the Capital City (COFECC, in Spanish) offered loans of between $500 to $15,000 to farmers starting out or experiencing emergencies.

The most recent recipient was the Camuy Agricultural Co-op, which bought farm equipment that they rent at low cost to farmers to work on their farms. For the farmers, buying tractors is not feasible given that they own small farms, USDA officials said.

USDA is issuing this notice now to “allow applicants enough time to leverage financing, prepare and submit their application and give the agency time to process application within Fiscal Year 2021,” it said in a release.

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

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