Federal Government →
The federal government offers several loan guarantee programs and a small number of direct loan programs. Federal loan guarantees encourage lenders (in most cases, banks) to make loans in sectors or areas perceived to have higher risks. Although the federal government guarantees the loans, local and national banks originate and service the loans.
Examples of loan and loan guarantee programs that are relevant to healthy food projects are listed below.
- Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program: Offers loans and loan guarantees to develop essential community facilities and services for public use in rural areas, including farmers markets and refrigerated trucks.
- Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans (B&I): Guarantees loans for up to $10 million for economic development and/or environmental projects in rural communities for a wide range of purposes, including healthy food business enterprises like grocery stores and food hubs.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Loan Program: Offers up to 90 percent loan value guarantees for small businesses. The program backs loans of up to $2 million with a payback period of seven to 25 years, a longer term than most standard bank loans. The 100 most active SBA 7(a) lenders can be found here.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) CDC/504 Loan Program: Provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for small businesses that will help create new employment opportunities or retain existing jobs. These loans are made through the SBA's community-based partners, Certified Development Companies.