Estimated 816 jobs saved

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

South Point company awarded $25M

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development has awarded $28,250,011 to four organizations in Southeast Ohio.

One of those is McNational, Inc., in South Point, that provides barge towing, fleeting, harbor services, repair and new construction for the marine industry on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

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McNational is being awarded a $25 million Business and Industry Loan Guarantee. Financing is needed due to the decrease in waterway traffic which led to a decline in the demand for sales and repair services. These funds will be used at their South Point location and other rural locations along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Dani Carlson, Brown’s press secretary, said the move is estimated to save 816 jobs.

“The USDA does its research to try to ensure loan awardees have the resources and tools they need to not default on their loans,” Carlson said. “These Business and Industry loans are guaranteed by the federal government, meaning that if there is a default the government agrees to pay the lending institution 80 percent of the loan.”

Brown said the awards will benefit rural Ohio.

“Small businesses face unique challenges and this federal funding will make the investments local businesses need and bolster economic growth in their communities,” Brown in a news release of the move from the executive branch. “I’m glad to see the Biden administration continuing to fulfill its promises by putting Ohioans first and investing in rural communities.”

USDA’s Rural Development program provides grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs, support economic development and provide essential services.

The Value-Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase income. The Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program is designed to assist rural businesses obtain credit for legal business purposes with the intent of saving and creating jobs in rural America.

The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program provides loans and grants to help Microenterprise Development Organizations with startup costs, grow and provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs.

The Lawrence County award made up the bulk of those for southeast Ohio. Others on the list included:

• $63,250 Value-Added Producer Grant to Mushroom Harvest Provisions, LLC in Meigs County to provide working capital, marketing and distribution of pickled shiitake mushrooms.

• $3,180,000 Business and Industry Loan Guarantee to Eriksten Holdings, LLC in Hocking County to purchase real estate that the company has been leasing for The Carlin House, an assisted living facility.

• $6,761 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grant to Community Action Committee of Pike in Pike County to provide technical assistance for the grantee’s revolving loan fund.