What in the heck is the Rural Investment Corporation? You may have heard that term floating around and wondered what it meant. The Rural Investment Corporation (RIC) was established in 2011 as a legal subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs. It now operates as an essential partner to REAP, the Center’s small business development program. In October 2013, the Rural Investment Corporation became a Certified Community Development Financial Institution.
Now, what is a Community Development Financial Institution? Being a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a “stamp of approval,” if you will, as well as a designation of the Department of Treasury that shows the organization meets a certain criteria.
How does it impact me as a rural business owner? From the entrepreneur’s perspective, it will seem like business as usual if you have worked with REAP in the past. However, being a Certified CDFI allows us to tap into other financing options to better serve our target market. This can look like an increase in loan maximums (from our current max of $50,000 to $150,000) as well as potential small ag lending.
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