Last week, leaders of two agencies traveled to communities in the Northwoods and Ironwood, Michigan to hold roundtable discussions with local leaders about business financing and accessing small business opportunities.
Under a federal Memorandum of Understanding, USDA Rural Development and the Small Business Administration are working more collaboratively on business financing and other resources.
Wisconsin Rural Development Director Frank Frassetto says the collaboration is designed to provide more to local communities.
Eric Ness is the District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration..
"..To help businesses start and grow and working in partnership with Rural Development. Most small businesses want help. They don't care where it is coming from but they want some help. If we can work in partnership with Rural Development to help those businesses start and grow is our goal..."
He says SBA often will provide working capital while Rural Development will provide the loans.
Frassetto outlines how the agencies work together...
"The SBA has a lot of volume in their loans and the loan amounts are a little bit less, whereas Rural Development has fewer loans but our amount is much greater. We have more flexibility in going over the $5 million mark for a business that needs more significant capital..."
Frasetto says they are working together to provide a choice for businesses to see what will work best for them. Ness says they also want to provide technical assistance.