The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a wide variety of business loan programs to support business creation and job growth in Florida. The USDA Rural Development Loan Program was established to increase economic prosperity and overall quality of life in rural America. There are multiple commercial lending initiatives under the RD umbrella including the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program.
Like nearly all of its other initiatives, the USDA Business & Industry Loan Program is limited to certain areas deemed “rural” by the USDA. In Florida and all other areas, the USDA defines a “rural” area as “any community, city, or town with 50,000 or fewer residents.”
Many areas associated with larger Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are considered rural due to their distance from their urban centers. In addition, eligible borrowers also may include businesses headquartered in larger metro areas with populations of more than 50,000, as long as the physical project (branch, division, store, etc.) that is being financed is located in a qualifying area.
For example, in South Florida, while most places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, respectively, might be ineligible, others such as Homestead, Weston, Belle Glade, Hobe Sound, and many others are eligible.
In Central Florida, many locations just outside of Orlando in Orange, Seminole, Volusia, and Brevard counties, including Winter Haven, Christmas, Geneva, Titusville, and others are all eligible. Eligible locations outside of Tampa and Pasco, Pinellas, Sumpter, and Citrus counties include Sumterville, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Homosassa Springs, Auburndale, Polk City, and others.
In Northeast Florida, eligible locations include St. Augustine, Macclenny, Yulee, Fernandina Beach, Nocatee, Palatka, and many other areas of Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker Putnam, and St. Johns counties.
While this may come as a surprise to many prospective borrowers, the fact is the USDA’s definition of rural is reflective of 97% of America’s geographic territory. The quickest way to see if you are eligible is to use this interactive map to check your address to see if you are in a qualifying area. Don’t forget that even businesses that may be headquartered in a non-qualifying area, may still be eligible, if the actual project being funded is located in a qualifying area. This applies to franchises, large corporations, and other types of business entities.
Florida USDA Business Loan Benefits Include:
Florida USDA Business & Industry Loan advantages are numerous. The USDA B&I Loan Program benefits include:
A wide range of qualifying uses.
High loan amounts of up to $25 million, whereas SBA’s highest loan amount is $2 million.
Loan terms of up to 30 years, depending upon funding use
High LTVs of up to 80%.
Full amortization – your payment that goes toward both principal and interest changes over time, so your balance is fully paid off by the end of the loan term.
Competitive interest rates are tied to the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate. Variable or Fixed Rates available.
Reasonable credit and collateral requirements. 680 Minimum Credit Score.
Serving Rural America, making up 97% of America.
USDA business loans offer numerous advantages for rural Florida entrepreneurs desiring to launch a new business or grow and develop an existing one. North Avenue Capital can help assess your eligibility for a USDA Rural Development Business Loan and, if qualified, can help you apply for commercial financing. We are one of the nation’s top providers of USDA Business & Industry Loans with offices in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. We work with partners in all 50 states and can help clients wherever they are based. Contact us today at (904) 595-2483.