Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ritter Lauds Recovery Act Grants to Rural Businesses

Gov. Bill Ritter applauded today an Obama administration announcement today that $1.4 million in funds from the federal economic stimulus program will be used to build a new grocery store and business complex in Crestone, Saguache County, and keep a 21-year-old dance studio open in Durango.

The funds are part of a loan guarantee program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The Recovery Act is helping banks lend to rural businesses at a time when they need it the most,” said. “Our community banks are helping rural communities complete important projects like the new stores in Crestone that will create new jobs.”

Ritter was referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the formal name of the law enacted last March.

The two loans are among 130 announced by the USDA using $452 million in Recovery Act funds. They are part of the USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. By guaranteeing up to 80 percent of loans less than $5 million, the USDA helps banks agree to provide capital to rural businesses at a time when loans are extremely difficult to obtain.

At least $5.7 billion in Recovery Act funds are expected to come to Colorado over the next two years.