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Success Stories

Expansion in Microlending Aids Startups, Extends Capital to Rural Markets

Kelly Clark
Marie’s Café in McGill, Nevada

Rural Nevada businesses needed capital, but banks were unwilling to make small- or medium-sized loans.  In particular, loans were not being offered to Nevada’s emerging business communities.

How Rural Development Helped:
In September 2010, USDA Rural Development    selected the Rural Nevada Development Corporation (RNDC) to be among the first nonprofit development corporations in the nation to participate in the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).   Since then, RNDC has borrowed the maximum amount possible, $500,000, and received a grant of $103,000 to provide technical assistance to businesses as well. RNDC’s RMAP loan funds have been relent as microloans between $500 and $50,000 to rural small businesses, farmers and ranchers in eligible areas across Nevada.

RNDC has worked with USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) since 1992, so the transition to micro lending was a natural fit.   RNDC received a $700,000 IRP loan during FY ‘10 as well, bringing the IRP partnership with Rural Development to $5.15 million.

The Results:
Over the last three years the RNDC, through the RMAP and Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), has provided over $3.1 million in loans to small rural Nevada businesses, creating 49 jobs and retaining 302 jobs.

Marie’s Café located in McGill, Nevada, was the first to receive a loan under the RMAP. Eight employees have been hired.

“We are glad we can assist start-up businesses in this tough economic climate- which is something that traditional lenders are shying away from right now,” says RNDC Lending Administrator Mary Kerner.

Over the 20 years that USDA Rural Development and RNDC have worked together, more than $10 million has been loaned out in rural Nevada, with more than $5.15 million of that from USDA. All total, more than 100 businesses have been funded.

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