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Two Kansas projects selected for ARRA funds


USDA Rural Development State Director Patty Clark congratulated Manhattan PE CO, LLC of Manhattan and Big Sugar Lumber & Home Center, Inc. of Fort Scott on their recent selection for Agency Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The purpose of the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business and industry, create employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities.

In a recent press release, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also announced there is $1.7 billion available to businesses across the country through Recovery Act Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program funding. The program is extremely beneficial to the lender since the guaranteed portion of the loan does not count against the lender's legal lending limit. Utilization of the program also increases the lender's return on investment, creates additional income streams, and minimizes the lender's loss risk.

Manhattan PE CO, LLC. has been selected for a guaranteed loan to transition their retail facility construction loan to a long-term loan with more reasonable amortized payments. The building will be leased to PETCO. With the USDA Rural Development guaranteed loan and reduced fees due to the Recovery Act funding, local Manhattan lender ESB Financial was able to put the $2,538,400 loan structure in place. Twenty-two jobs will be saved or created.

USDA Rural Development Area Specialist Larry D. Holz in Manhattan commented, "We are pleased to be able to assist this business and lender during this time of economic challenges. We look forward to finalizing the financing on this project and keeping the jobs in Kansas."

A $450,000 Recovery Act Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan will assist Big Sugar Lumber & Home Center, Inc. of Fort Scott to continue to be an integral part of the construction trades and home improvement business in the community.

Katie Casper, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist in Iola, said, "Big Sugar Lumber & Home Center, Inc. is an important business for the community of Fort Scott, KS, and the surrounding area. This business provides a much-needed service and a number of quality jobs to a city that has experienced significant out-migration over the past 20+ years. I am extremely pleased that this project has been selected for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as the retention of jobs played a large role in this project. Through the dedication of the local banker at Union State Bank and the opportunity these funds presented, this business will retain eleven jobs that are vital to the economy of Southeast Kansas."

The funding is being made available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Eligible applicants include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. The funds will be targeted to creating and retaining quality jobs and serving difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn.

Additional information on the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program may be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/b&i_gar.htm.

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