USDA Provides $70 Million to Help Rural Businesses throughout Louisiana Save and Create Jobs in Fiscal Year 2021

LOUISIANA Aug. 24, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson today announced that USDA is on track to provide a record level of support for rural working capital and other business capital needs in fiscal year 2021.

“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA is expanding access to capital to prioritize rural economic development,” Maxson said. “As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the economy, USDA remains committed to helping rural businesses create job opportunities so rural Americans can build back better and stronger than ever before.”

USDA has invested $811 million through the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program since the start of the current fiscal year. This assistance has helped businesses create or save more than 6,000 jobs in rural areas.

USDA also invested $380 million in rural businesses through the Business and Industry CARES Act Program, which was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This assistance has helped rural businesses create or save more than 6,000 jobs in rural areas.

Here in Louisiana, USDA invested $70,391,630 to help 13 businesses create or save jobs through the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program and the Business and Industry CARES Act Program.

Below are three businesses highlighted in this announcement:

  • Advanced Welding School offers a wide range of welding courses such as shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and certified welding inspector or educator. This loan will assist in creating 16 and saving nine jobs in Walker.
  • Southern Textile Services is a healthcare laundry business that provides services to hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Their services include linen supply, inventory management, laundry services, customer delivery, and quality control. This loan will assist in creating 15 and saving 82 jobs in Alexandria.
  • FTC operates the Springhill Suites in Slidell. The lodging facility is 57,000 square feet with four floors and 88 king and queen suites. This loan will assist in saving 22 jobs in Slidell.

Investments under the B&I program are 36 percent higher than they were this time last year. Applications have increased by 44 percent. These increases are due in part to a series of program improvements USDA adopted under the new OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative.

This initiative increased the USDA loan guarantee to 80 percent for investments greater than $5 million. The previous guarantee percentages were 70 percent for loans less than $10 million and 60 percent for loans greater than $10 million. This improvement has made the program more attractive to capital-intensive businesses such as manufacturing companies.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.