News Column

Grant Award Will Help Hispanic Businesses

October 5, 2013

By Mike Faulk, Yakima Herald-Republic, Wash.

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima-based Rural Community Development Resources has secured a $500,000 federal grant to establish a revolving loan program for rural businesses that are either struggling or hoping to expand.

The loan was secured last week, just ahead of the end of the 2013 fiscal year, RCDR president and CEO Luz Bazan Gutierrez said, and before the federal shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress. The funds will now be used to increase access to credit capital for low-income Latino and American Indian businesses in the area.

Gutierrez said the organization had been working with the federal agency awarding the grant, the Economic Development Administration, since November 2012 to secure the funding. Bank of
America provided the required 25 percent matching funds -- equal to $125,000 -- to bring the project's total funding to $625,000, she said.

"None of the money goes to operations. It all has to be used for loans within Yakima andKittitas counties and other rural, under-served and economically distressed communities," Gutierrez said. "These will be big loans to help create more jobs."

The loans are what make the program revolving, she said. As money is paid back with a 9 percent interest rate, it opens opportunities for other businesses to apply.

One requirement to receive a loan is to show that it will either save or create a minimum of 20 jobs as a result, Gutierrez said.

"They have to show this loan is either going to help them keep their doors open or that it will bring in more jobs for people," Gutierrez said.

The organization is currently accepting applications for loans through the program. Those interested can call 509-453-5133 for more information.

Original headline: Grant award will help Latino, American Indian businesses

Source: (c)2013 Yakima Herald-Republic (Yakima, Wash.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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