Funding to boost business lending, job creation and provide off-farm income opportunities in rural areas in Upstate New York
Rochester, NY (Nov. 22, 2010)- Officials from the US Department of Agriculture announced funding through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) to organizations in 36 states earlier this month. The funding, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, is intended to boost small business development, create jobs, and strengthen rural communities. The PathStone Enterprise Center, Inc. is the only organization in New York State to be funded through the RMAP, receiving a $400,000 loan and a $100,000 grant to provide financial and technical assistance and training to rural microentrepreneurs.
Since 1992, The PathStone Enterprise Center has been making microloans of up to $50,000 to support small business development in rural communities with a population of 25,000 or less. Through its Microloan Program, PathStone has provided 297 microloans in communities throughout New York State, totaling $5.5 million. Additionally, PathStone provides comprehensive pre-loan and post-loan training and technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs. In 2010, PathStone graduated more than 400 individuals from its business training classes, and provided technical assistance to 3,000 more.
“I’m so pleased that the PathStone Enterprise Center has received this $500,000 award because I know it is an investment in our rural communities that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. “The funding awarded to PathStone from the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program will allow them to make investments in small businesses across Western and Central New York creating jobs and spurring economic growth.”
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan applauds microlending programs for making a substantial difference in rural communities by leveraging comparatively small amounts of money. “In many cases, an entrepreneur needs only a small amount of money, a microloan, to get started. This program creates opportunities for small businesses to prosper by giving them access to capital and it also helps to create new off-farm income opportunities that help to support owners of small and mid-sized farm operations.”
“I am pleased that PathStone Enterprise Center’s long history of providing assistance to rural small businesses was recognized by their selection as one of the first recipients of assistance under the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program,” said USDA Rural Development State Director, Jill Harvey. “New York Rural Development is proud to once again be a leader in delivering programs that create jobs and foster economic growth in our rural communities.”
For more information PathStone’s small business lending efforts and its Microenterprise Assistance Program (MAP), please visit the PathStone Enterprise Center website at http://www.theenterprisecenterinc.com, or call 585-340-3304 or 585-340-3387 to speak with a loan officer.