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Funding for the USDA loan program solves current tribal government credit problems



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Funding for the USDA loan program solves current tribal government credit problems

National Congress of American Indians 8 (The oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the interests of tribal governments and communities, December 17, Indian Country Economic Recovery Plan, http://www.nativecontractors.org/media/pdf/NCAI_Economic_Stimulus_Proposal.pdf)

Like other governments, the current economic climate has made access to credit for tribal governments and tribal businesses much more difficult. Tribes that depend on income from traditional lines of business, such as forest products or agriculture, have been hit particularly hard as tightened credit markets have affected sales. Ultimately it has affected the ability of businesses to secure new or increased sources of capital. USDA Rural Development administers the Business and Industry (B&I) Program, which is authorized to provide grants, loan guarantees, and below market direct loans for a variety of purposes, including construction, expansion, repair, or modernization costs. Although still authorized and governed by existing regulations and eligibility criteria, the direct loan component of the B&I program has not been funded for several years. Tribes and tribal enterprises are eligible borrowers under existing regulations. The B&I Direct Loan program is already authorized and in place. New funding is all that is needed to provide Indian tribes and tribal enterprises with a new source of available capital. USDA Rural Development currently administers direct loans in connection with other programs and has personnel and procedures in place to make and service these direct loans.






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