Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced $4.6 million in loan and grant funds to promote rural business development.
The funds, being provided through USDA Rural Development's Intermediary Relending and Rural Business Enterprise Grant programs, will save or create an estimated 627 jobs in eight states.
"These grants will promote the creation of new businesses, assist existing businesses, save jobs and create new ones," Johanns says in a USDA news release.
States receiving funding include: Calif., Mont., N.C., N.D, Ore., S.D., Vt. and Wis. The Intermediary Relending program provides 1 percent loans to non-profit development organizations for the establishment of revolving loan programs for loans to small businesses. Applications are selected for funding through a nationwide competition.