WASHINGTON (Thursday, Jan. 14) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Vermont’s Rhino Foods, Inc. $1.2 million in loan assistance through the Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced Thursday. The loan guarantee was made possible through funding available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Rhino Foods, Inc., located in Burlington, produces and distributes ice cream novelties and ingredients. The loan assistance will be used by Rhino Foods to purchase new equipment to help expand capabilities to produce more product, and to help with production efficiency to improve competitiveness. Rhino Foods has been widely recognized in Vermont for its good business practices.
“Loan assurances help sustain local businesses, allowing them to grow and develop,” Leahy, Sanders and Welch said. “Businesses and communities across Vermont have already put to good use funds from the recovery package. With this loan assistance, Rhino Foods, Inc., already a nationally recognized specialty shop, will be able to expand its business, which will in turn support local jobs and the local economy.”
The Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program helps business in rural communities improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment, and improve the economic and environmental climate in local communities.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday announced that 130 rural businesses across the country would receive loan guarantees. Recipients include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, federally recognized Indian tribes, public bodies, and individuals. The funds are targeted at creating and retaining quality jobs and serving difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted last year to stimulate economic growth and create and maintain jobs across the country.