Vermont Company Rhino Foods to Receive Over $1.2 Million in Loan Assistance Through Recovery Act Funds
Posted: January 15, 2010
Guaranteed loans help local businesses and support
‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ Initiative
Montpelier, Vt – USDA has allocated $452 million in loan guarantees to assist 130 rural businesses through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Vermont company Rhino Foods has been awarded over $1.2 million in loan assistance. The funding is being made available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Altogether, $1.7 billion is available to businesses across the country through Recovery Act Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program funding.
“Vermont has many unique and diverse specialty food producers most are small businesses making a significant economic impact in our communities and sourcing products from local producers. Rhino Foods employees over 100 Vermonters and was voted to be one of the best small companies to work for by Inc. Magazine,” said Roger Allbee Vermont Secretary of Agriculture. “We are pleased that they have been chosen to receive these funds which will support their business.”
According to Ted Castle, Spokesperson for Rhino Foods, the funding will help them to expand their capacity for new production as well as increase workplace safety initiatives. “These loan guarantee funds will help us to expand and to put additional procedures in place to allow us to produce products more quickly and efficiently, cutting down on costs and making our company more competitive,” said Castle. “Rhino Foods is known for its socially responsible business practices and these funds will help us to continue supporting the local economy.”
“We are extremely pleased that an ARRA Award is able to make available to help a well-known and respected Vermont company like Rhino Foods. The ‘Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Initiative’ is a wonderful program that can assist in retaining good paying jobs and increasing the number of jobs in Vermont is the single most important goal of our office,” commented Coleen Krauss, Director of Economic Development and Community Programs.
USDA’s 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative was launched in September. It emphasizes the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers and includes such major agricultural topics as supporting local farmers and community food groups; strengthening rural communities; enhancing direct marketing and farmers' promotion programs; promoting healthy eating; protecting natural resources; and helping schools connect with locally grown foods. The initiative builds on the 2008 Farm Bill, which provides for increases and flexibility for USDA programs in an effort to promote local foods.
The funding announced today is being made available through USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Eligible applicants include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. The funds will be targeted to creating and retaining quality jobs and serving difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn.