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What, No Farm?

The Agriculture Department has its eye on business, too.

This story appears in the March 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: I've been operating a manufacturing company for more than 20 years in a small, rural Southeast town. To secure a lucrative high-tech contract, I need just over $5 million to revamp my facility. My local lender says the deal is too big, but several large bank and say the deal is too small. Where can I go next?

A: Stay where you are-this horse isn't dead yet. Before moving on to greener pastures, give your local lender another chance. Request that they check into making you the loan under a relatively unknown program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. This program is designed to allow both bank and nonbank lenders to make quality loans to rural areas with less overall risk because a portion of the capital is guaranteed by the U.S. government. Also, these loans are extremely attractive to both small banks and large non-bank lenders because they can sell off the guaranteed portion of the loan for a fee. Most professionals need to be reminded how creative their fields can be, and lenders are no different. For details, visit the Agriculture Department's business programs Web site at

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