USDA to implement regulatory reforms to increase access to capital in rural areas
WASHINGTON — Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that USDA is hosting listening sessions to solicit feedback on a plan to increase access to capital in rural areas by streamlining regulations for four Rural Development loan guarantee programs.
“At USDA, we know that for many rural communities the regulations that govern our programs can be outdated and difficult to navigate,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Agriculture Secretary (Sonny) Perdue, USDA is committed to simplifying our regulations and streamlining our program resources so we can be a better partner to rural leaders in building prosperity.”
The changes will simplify the application process for four Rural Development loan guarantee programs that provide funding to start, improve and expand businesses and build critical infrastructure. They also will incorporate modern lending practices, accelerate the loan approval processes and increase the amount of capital available in rural communities. The programs are the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, the Water and Waste Disposal Guaranteed Loan Program, the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Rural Energy for America Program.
The Rural Development Innovation Center is hosting listening sessions this month to solicit comments on the reforms.
Listening sessions will be held:
Sept. 19 (virtually only, focus on Tribal areas) from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT.
Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT at USDA Whitten Building, Room 107-A.
To attend any of these session virtually go to https://cc.readytalk.com/.registration/#/?meeting=b4q31fp28iln&campaign=gfyzg0zqobay.
For more information, see page 45091 of the Sept. 5 Federal Register at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-09-05/pdf/2018-19101.pdf.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, led by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the task force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) at https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-prosperity-report.pdf. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB) at https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/rural-task-force-infographic.pdf. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov.