The purpose of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities through the development, improvement, or financing of business, industry, and employment. The program provides guarantees on loans made by private lenders to eligible rural borrowers of up to 60, 70, or 80 percent, depending on loan size.1 Loans eligible for the B&I program guarantees are generally limited to a maximum of $10 million per borrower, although in some circumstances larger loan amounts may be approved.2 System banks are eligible to participate in the B&I program.

Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $25,000,000 maximum loan limits
  • Real estate – 30 year Term
  • Equipment – 15 year Term or useful life, whichever is less
  • Working capital – 7 year Term
  • Up to 90% for existing businesses, 80% for new businesses

Who can apply?

  • For- or nonprofit businesses
  • Cooperatives
  • Federally-recognized Tribes (Features Information)
  • Public bodies
  • Individuals engaged — or proposing to engage — in an eligible rural business

What are the borrowing restrictions?

  • Individual borrowers must be citizens of the United States, or reside in the U.S. after being legally admitted for permanent residence.
  • Borrowers must demonstrate loan funds will remain in the U.S., and the facility being financed will create new – or save existing – jobs for rural U.S. residents.

What is considered an eligible area?

  • Rural areas not in cities or towns with populations of more than 50,000, and adjacent urbanized areas
  • A borrower’s headquarters can be based in a larger city, as long as the project, itself is in an eligible rural area
  • Eligible lenders can be located anywhere in the U.S.
  • Local and Regional Food System Initiative projects (Features Information) can be funded in both rural and urban areas

How can guaranteed loan funds be used?

Examples of eligible uses include:

  • Business development, growth, modernization, conversion, or repair
  • Buy and develop land, buildings, and associated infrastructure for commercial or industrial use
  • Buy and install machinery, equipment, supplies, and inventory
  • Refinance debt to create cash flow and create jobs
  • Acquire businesses or industries when the loan will maintain operations, and create or save jobs

Guaranteed loan funds cannot be used for:

  • Lines of credit
  • Owner-occupied or rental housing
  • Golf courses, or golf course infrastructure
  • Racetracks or gambling facilities
  • Churches or church-controlled organizations
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Lending, investment, or insurance companies
  • Agricultural production (with certain exceptions)
  • Payment or distribution to a beneficiary of a borrower, or to an individual or entity that will retain ownership interest in the borrower