General, USDA Business & Industry Loans

Case Studies – 7 Success Stories of Businesses That Used USDA Rural Development Business Loans

The USDA’s Rural Development Business Loan Program offers a variety of commercial loans to help entrepreneurs in rural areas access the capital they need to grow and succeed. These loans can be used for a range of purposes. For new businesses, a USDA Business Loan can provide the capital needed to get off the ground and cover the costs of starting a new venture, such as purchasing property and equipment. For existing businesses, a USDA Business Loan can support business modernization, expansion, and growth. These loans also can help companies improve their production processes and efficiencies, leading to increased profits and success.

Here are seven success stories of businesses that used USDA Rural Development Business Loans from North Avenue Capital to help achieve their goals.

1. Royal Caridea
Royal Caridea, located in Gila Bend, Arizona, is a high-tech shrimp farming company that produces more than 300,000 pounds of shrimp each year. North Avenue Capital helped the company obtain a $2.2 million USDA Business & Industry Loan to help fund the installation of an advanced wastewater treatment system. The system allowed the company to recycle water on-site, significantly reducing its water usage and leading to cost savings and a more sustainable operation. 

2. Planet Swim
Plant Swim is a small business located in Ponte Vedra, Florida that was initially established as a decentralized swim school, which has grown into a full-service private swimming and tennis club. It features a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility with seven clay tennis courts, an Olympic-sized pool, an indoor teaching pool, a gymnastics room, locker rooms, and more. Owner Gustavo Calado, a young Brazilian immigrant and former competitive swimmer, dreamed of opening an aquatics center, but, due to his foreign descent and limited credit, he found it surprisingly difficult to find a financing partner. However, working with the USDA’s government-guaranteed business loan program, North Avenue Capital was able to help Gustavo receive a $5 million affordable loan to construct Planet Swim’s flagship location. Today, Planet Swim is successfully serving active, competitive athletes of every age, equipping families and special needs communities with life-saving water safety training, and helping support the local economy.

3. Five Oaks Nursery & Tree Farm
Wil Massengill is a former senior manager in the construction and heavy farm equipment sales industry. After being away from home more than he liked, he decided to start looking for a business to purchase to keep him closer to his family. In 2016, Wil’s CPA helped craft an owner-financing deal that enabled him to buy the Five Oaks Nursery & Tree Farm in Wilmington, North Carolina. It consisted of two properties, a wholesale and retail plant nursery, and another used to grow trees and shrubs. Following a consolidation of operations and hand-off from the previous owners, Wil knew it was time to restructure his financing. His acquisition approach prevented him from using an SBA loan and was a challenge to find the right lending source. However, North Avenue Capital was able to assist Wil with a USDA Business Loan to help him refinance. The loan enabled Wil to firmly secure the business of his dreams, be at home with his family more, and contribute to the growth of the local economy.

4. HD Hospitality
Harry Vaidya, the owner of HD Hospitality, was able to use a USDA Rural Development Business Loan to develop a new 60-room Comfort Inn hotel in White House, Tennessee. The new Comfort Inn is strategically positioned along the busy I-65 corridor that connects Nashville, Tennessee to Bowling Green, Kentucky. It offers a range of amenities for travelers, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor pool, and meeting spaces. A USDA Business Loan helped Harry round out his capital stack and break ground on this new property under the Choice Hotels flag.

5. Texas Green Star
Texas Green Star is an organically-certified hydroponic farm located in Sanger, Texas. The 332-acre facility produces leafy greens year-round, using nutrient film technique (NFT) hydroponic systems and soilless culture to avoid the growing challenges that traditional agricultural farmers face such as temperature, weather, insects, and other environmental issues. The farming innovation enables food suppliers to grow food indoors in any climate, location, and time of year. Thanks to a $15 million USDA Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan through North Avenue Capital, Cesar Rodriguez, CEO & Co-Founder of Texas Green Star, was provided the financial means to purchase important new NFT equipment and gain access to working capital. Texas Green Star now is able to conserve water, support year-round production, and provide consistent availability of quality, locally-grown leafy vegetables to consumers in the area.

6. The Manor at 12 Oaks
The Manor at 12 Oaks is a wedding and event venue in Green Cove Springs, Florida. The business was founded by entrepreneur Steve Magiera, who used a USDA Business Loan to acquire and renovate a historic 42-acre property. The funding allowed Magiera to make necessary, extensive renovations to the property including updating the electrical and plumbing systems, adding a new kitchen and bar, and restoring the exterior of the primary building. These renovations have helped The Manor at 12 Oaks attract a high volume of events and become a popular destination for weddings and other special occasions.

7. Versatech
Versatech is a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of custom machinery and engineering solutions for industrial manufacturing companies. Partners Joe Forbes, Chad Hill, and Mike Baker put their professional experience together to launch the company in 2008 as an alternative to the larger corporations they came from. Fresh off the heels of the economic downturn, the partners were finding it hard to find a long-term financial partner. Fortunately, they were introduced to North Avenue Capital which helped them secure financing through the USDA Business & Industry Loan Program. Today, Versatech employs more than 100 men and women, serving auto industry leaders like Ford, BMW, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz and heavy-machinery manufacturers including John Deere, CAT, Hitachi, and GE. “For us, the impact has been life-changing,” Forbes said.

Are you ready to create your own success story? If so, North Avenue Capital is ready to help. We are America’s only direct commercial lender that lends exclusively through USDA Business Loans through the USDA Rural Development Program. We have offices in Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, and partners in all 50 states to help facilitate loans. Contact us today for your commercial funding needs or any questions you may have about USDA Guaranteed Business Loans.


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