USDA Urges Shoppers to Support Local Businesses

USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner. Courtesy

USDA News:

ALBUQUERQUE – USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner is urging everyone to support local small businesses this Small Business Saturday celebration this week end.

“Please take time to thank the small business owners in your community for their contributions to the local economy by purchasing their products and services,” Brunner said.

His comments coincide with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) partnership with the White House and the Small Business Administration’s support of small businesses this holiday shopping season. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 28 million small businesses throughout the United States, representing 44 percent of U.S. private sector payroll. These small businesses also create two out of every three new American jobs.

Many jobs in rural America have been created through USDA Rural Development’s (RD) Rural Business-Cooperative programs which include; over a dozen loan guarantee, direct loan, and grant opportunities. Generally these programs are available to small business owners in rural communities of 50-thousand people or less. The financial support helps small businesses expand, purchase new equipment, receive training and technical assistance, and become energy efficient in their operation – which lowers operating cost, preserves the environment, and makes America less dependent on foreign fuel.

USDA Rural Development also partners with lenders, local governments, Tribal groups, intermediaries, and cooperatives to help small businesses develop new products and expand into new markets.

“So as you do your holiday shopping I urge you to please support your local business such as the ones that have received financial support from USDA Rural Development.” Brunner said.

Some of the small businesses that USDA Rural Development (RD) supports include many that received funds through various intermediary partners that were funded by Rural Development.

One such business is Joliesse Chocolates located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque which received funding from the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund through a financial program offered by USDA Rural Development.  State Director Brunner and Congresswoman Lujan Grisham visited Joliesse Chocolates on Saturday to some of their holiday shopping.

“Our business began on the internet in May of 2012, and today we are already getting ready to expand by leasing more space and hiring more people,” said Grace Lapsys, owner of Joliesse Chocolates. “We are very grateful for the opportunity and support we have received.”

USDA Rural Development provided a $500,000 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) loan and a $105,000 RMAP grant plus a $400,000 Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loan to the New Mexico Loan Fund. The Loan Fund then provides technical assistance and financial support to small businesses around the state of New Mexico. 

In the last year financial support was given to:

  • Blue Sky & Pet Feed Supply of Taos
  • Building Blocks Learning Center a day care center in Lovington
  • Joliesse Chocolates, a chocolatier LLC in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque
  • Love Bud Floral shop and gifts in Artesia
  • Mark Gates of Taos, NM provides rentals for apartments and art studios
  • P&M Signs of Mountainair
  • Rainbow Inn and Gift Shop in Carrizozo
  • Randy Espinoza a school bus contractor based in Cleveland, N.M.
  • Rocking Horse Daycare, LLC in Carrizozo
  • Season Palate a mobile food truck in Placitas
  • Tortilleria Sierra tortilla manufacturer in Sunland Park
  • Waterway of New Mexico a fire hose testing company based in Moriarty
  • Wayne Rutherford General Contractor located in Taos

USDA Rural Development also provided a $400,000 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) loan and a $100,000 RMAP grant to the Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team, Corp. (WESST.) The funding is also being used to provide technical assistance and microloans to eligible rural microentrepreneurs for startup and growing microenterprises. Some of the small businesses that have benefited from the financial support in 2013 include:

  • Aaron’s Trucking, Inc. of Hagerman
  • Intergalactic, LLC a bakery in Rowe
  • Old Windmill (Goat) Dairy in McIntosh
  • Plenish, LLC a skincare and color cosmetic design and manufacturing business in Ranchos De Taos
  • Shear Image Salon in Roswell
  • TJ’s Diner in Roswell

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.