USDA announces a Mississippi organization is slated to receive $40 million dollars to bank roll its mission.
Hope Enterprise Corporation and Credit Union is one of 26 organizations nationwide selected to receive funding from the USDA, to provide loans to poor rural communities. USDA's Lisa Mensah, says the organization will borrow $40 million to provide loans to organizations in small Mississippi towns. She says Hope's track record made them eligible for the loan.
"The fact that they have both a credit union and a loan fund is what allowed them to be such a significant borrower in this case. Thirty-million of it is coming to the Hope Credit union and another $10 million to their Hope Enterprise Corporation. They're a kind of development financial institution that has a combination of regulated entity in a credit union and a loan fund that has a history and a track record," said Mensah.
Under Secretary Mensah is in Fayette, at a health center Hope Enterprise Corporation assisted with financing, to make the announcement. She says the low cost 40 year loans are available to schools, hospitals, nonprofits and other community facilities. Hope CEO Bill Bynum says this infusion of cash is the tool needed to restore pride and hope to poor rural areas in the state.
"It's really access to capital that is the missing ingredient for many of these communities and you don't have mega banks in the Delta. You don't have large number of foundations that you may have in more prosperous areas and so people are looking for the tools," said Bynum.
A partnership between banks, USDA and philanthropic foundations is funding the project which is called the "Uplift America" initiative.