USDA Announces Recovery Act Loan Guarantees To Bring Jobs, Economic Opportunity to Rural Arkansas Communities
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., Aug. 19, 2010 – USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Judith Canales and Rural Development State Director Lawrence McCullough today announced the funding of two Recovery Act loan guarantee projects in Arkansas that will save jobs and provide economic opportunities to rural residents in Union and Johnson counties.
"The Obama Administration is committed to revitalizing rural communities and bolstering existing private credit to help rural businesses grow," Canales said. "These projects will improve the quality of life for rural residents while promoting job creation and sustainability in rural communities."
South Arkansas Oil Company has been selected to receive a $5.2 million Recovery Act loan guarantee to help the company prepare for future expansion. South Arkansas Oil owns and operates nine gasoline stations with convenience stores in Union County. In addition to the Recovery Act assistance, South Arkansas Oil will receive $525,000 from private investment sources.
Bright Harvest Sweet Potato Company has been selected to receive a $6.7 million Recovery Act guaranteed loan. Bright Harvest, which has 220 employees in northwest Arkansas and is a major employer in Johnson County, produces sweet potato casseroles, patties and french fries. The company provides a market for local foods by purchasing sweet potatoes from local and regional producers in Arkansas.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).