The U.S. Department of Agriculture has $25 million in loan guarantees available for qualifying small businesses in Michigan.
The loans can go towards building purchases, new equipment, refinancing, or just about anything a small business needs to run.
James Turner, director of USDA rural development in Michigan, calls this the department’s “flagship program.”
“In the five and a half years I’ve been here, we’ve invested over $213 million in Michigan under this this one program alone,” he said.
To apply, small businesses in towns with fewer than 50,000 people must first go through a private lender.
That way, Turner said, businesses and banks both benefit from the program.
“This allows [banks] to take on a loan they might not otherwise take on their own,” he said. “We provide a guarantee to a lender that kind of de-risks their exposure and allows them to expand their ability to lend in Michigan.”
The USDA offers a number of other development programs for Michigan’s rural communities including loan guarantees on home purchases, rental assistance and infrastructure financing.