The city of Plainview is facing the challenge that many rural communities face; how does a rural community keep existing businesses in operation and recruit new businesses to keep the community viable. One of the issues Plainview plans to address is the challenge of apparent gaps in the financial system through which some of their small businesses were falling through. Plainview determined to address this challenge by creating a revolving loan fund geared towards small business development. The intention of the funds is to provide financing for the new businesses start-ups as well as to aid in financing the expansion of existing small businesses to retain entrepreneurs in the community, save existing jobs, create new jobs, and retain the community’s working age population. The revolving loan fund would help supplement existing financial instruments and aid in attracting other capital investment into the community.
The focus on small business development makes this project a great fit for USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant Program. Through this program, Rural Development will invest $80,000 in grant funds, leveraged with $25,000 in matching funds from the City of Plainview, to create a revolving loan fund geared towards small and emerging private businesses. Four businesses were identified in the application to receive the initial loans. These loan funds will enable two businesses to expand, facilitate an existing business transition, and allow a new business to move into the community. The businesses are projected to retain more than eight jobs and create two additional jobs. In a rural community the creation and retention of jobs is critical to keeping a small-town’s economy stable. As the loans are paid back, the revolving nature of the fund will allow the community to pursue other small business development opportunities.