HILO, Hawaii—USDA Rural Development State Director Chris Kanazawa announced yesterday the selection of Pacific Islands Development Bank to receive an Intermediary Relending Program loan to promote economic development and job creation through increased business lending.
"These funds support the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to bring increased economic opportunity to rural small businesses and communities in the Western Pacific," Kanazawa said. "We have a longstanding partnership with PIDB and this award is a demonstration of our continued support for the mission of PIDB and to local businesses and business owners."
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program. The total amount of loan announced is $400,000.
The Intermediary Relending Program provides funds to organizations to establish revolving loan pools that are used to finance business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in rural communities.
“PIDB has had a successful track record in providing assistance to rural small businesses in Guam, the CNMI, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands,” said Joseph Diego, Area Director for USDA Rural Development. “The IRP funds will assist businesses to finance working capital, machinery and equipment and real estate-related transactions.”
“The success of the IRP program is evident throughout the region and many small and medium size enterprises were established with direct financing from this program,” said Aren Palik, president and CEO of PIDB. “Small businesses and entrepreneurial skills are a vital component of economic growth and development, the IRP funds will be utilized primarily for that purpose.”
The Pacific Islands Development Bank has received over $2 million under this program and hundreds of jobs have been created or saved. The funds are used to finance approved business proposals from PIDB member islands, which includes Guam, Palau, FSM States of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Marshall Islands, which attained membership last year.
PIDB was established in 1989 to help accelerate economic and social development of member countries. It was created in response to a longstanding desire on the part of these small island nations for a development institution that would focus on the pressing needs and problems of the region. (USDA)