Rural small businesses will benefit from the new Rural Small Businesses Operating Credit Guarantee program (RSB), Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk announced today.

“Rural areas need diversity to have stability,” said Wowchuk. “By targeting small businesses in rural Manitoba, the RSB program will provide more credit opportunities, help strengthen rural economies and attract greater diversity to rural communities across the province.”

Under the RSB program, the financial institutions of an eligible business (non-agricultural businesses outside Winnipeg with annual sales up to $2 million) can apply for guarantees on operating lines of credit up to a maximum amount of $200,000. This financing can be used for a variety of operating costs including day-to-day general operating expenses, inventory purchases and the cash flow of receivables.

Administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), the RSB program will complement the successful Rural Entrepreneur Assistance program which, in some circumstances, provides private lenders with the assurance they need to make direct loans to small rural Manitoba businesses.

Potential clients are encouraged to apply to the participating lender of their choice, said Wowchuk.

More information on rural and agricultural credit programs is available at local MASC offices or at www.masc.mb.ca.