USDA Rural Development is promoting $1 billion in funding it has available to guarantee loans to rural businesses.

“The money can be used for working capital in conjunction with the COVID-19 issues that we’ve all had,” said Rural Development Illinois State Director Doug Wilson during a recent visit with RFD Radio. “This is one where we can work with the lender in the program as they are, and they can come to us and we can guarantee loans for operating capital.”

The funding is available through the Business & Industry Loan Program, supported by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.

Rural business owners are encouraged to visit their lenders to determine if the program is a good fit. Businesses that can take advantage of the program include implement dealers, ethanol plants, elevators and more.

“We can help get them a level of cash flow to be able to continue to produce and survive,” Wilson said. “It’s something that can bridge a gap.”

The maximum loan guarantee under the program is $25 million.