"The Obama Administration strongly supports efforts to develop new and existing businesses and this new partnership will help increase access to capital in rural communities which can spur business growth and job creation," Vilsack said. "USDA has many business programs designed to promote small business development, including direct and guaranteed loans and grant assistance and we look forward to partnering with the SBA in our business development and support efforts."
The MOU will remain in effect for three years. Under the agreement, USDA Rural Development and SBA will use their respective resources to provide small businesses in rural areas with loan guarantees and technical assistance to help build diverse and sustainable economies, reverse population decline, create and sustain jobs, and improve quality of life. The agreement is expected to:
- Improve opportunities for small businesses to start and grow;
- Improve coordination in the delivery and development of programs; and
- Increase the number of small business loans guaranteed by USDA and SBA.
to bring our collective expertise, financial resources and experience to help start, grow and sustain rural businesses and promote entrepreneurship," Mills said. "This partnership represents the Obama Administration's ongoing commitment to working across our various agencies to increase economic opportunity for rural citizens."
Key goals of this partnership include strengthening marketing and outreach by enabling each Agency's field offices to advise potential small business borrowers of the other Agency's credit programs that may support all or a portion of the small business' financing needs. USDA Rural Development and SBA field offices will exchange promotional and reference materials, including brochures and training schedules, and will distribute the other Agency's information to its field network and its potential applicants when appropriate.