Since 2015, North Avenue Capital has had the privilege of serving talented entrepreneurs and employers across rural America. From beekeepers to hoteliers, commercial real estate developers to snack food makers, the business owners who trust North Avenue with their USDA-backed funding needs represent some of the finest entrepreneurial talent in America.
In addition to being savvy business operators, our borrowers have one thing in common: they populate some of America’s most cherished rural locales — cities and towns with populations of 50,000 residents or less. But for some, the commonalities end there. Our USDA tool chest of loan programs includes specialty loan programs designed with a variety of niche needs in mind, including USDA Business & Industry Loans (available to non-agricultural businesses), USDA Community Facilities Loans (for entities such as hospitals, fire stations, community centers, and more), USDA Rural Energy for America Loans (provided for the purchase of sustainable energy sources), and the newest member of the UDSA loan family, the Food Supply Chain Loan. Unlike the three that precede it, this newest loan is the first in our history to have no rural requirement. Translation: any participant in the U.S. food supply chain is welcome to apply.
Last year alone, North Avenue Capital worked hand in hand with the USDA to close more than $89 million in loans. That brings NAC’s seven-year total to $361 million in total originations, resulting from $9 billion in reviewed projects. Since inception, our average loan size is $6 million, with manufacturing leading the pack and commercial real estate, hospitality, entertainment, and retail trade following closely behind.
In 2020, North Avenue Capital was crowned the #1 USDA B&I Lender in the country, an honor we hold dearly and seek to uphold. Last year, NAC was honored to earn the Jacksonville Business Journal's “50 fastest-growing businesses in Jacksonville” seal for the second year in a row. Also in 2021, Inc. Magazine named NAC one of the 5000 fastest-growing businesses in the country.
Such awards, though, aren’t what motivate North Avenue’s team of tireless rural lending experts. Instead, it’s helping businesses save and create jobs and support the communities they serve. Over the last seven years, funding from North Avenue Capital has contributed to the creation or preservation of 6,658 jobs, and a total of 66 businesses have received competitively priced funding.
Among those 66 are employers and entrepreneurs whose talents must be seen to be believed. That brings us to this: a highlight reel celebrating a sampling of the NAC borrower family. This small subset of the 66 companies in the NAC portfolio features purveyors of entertainment, masters of hospitality, and essential players in the global food supply chain. To the rural communities they serve, they’re essential. To the people they employ, they’re a lifeline. And to us, they’re family.