Rural Matters
Rural Matters
May 23, 2020
Rural Economic Assistance during COVID-19 with Thomas Kimsey
Play • 37 min

Michelle talks about economic development, access to capital, and assistance to rural businesses during the COVID era, with Thomas Kimsey, president and CEO of Thomas USAF Group. This episode is the first of a four-part series, called Rural Economic and Community Development, which Rural Matters is producing in cooperation with and support from Thomas USAF. With almost three decades of SBA and USDA lending experience, Kinsey has established his nationwide industry footprint and has closed a multitude of loans in various industries with a heavy concentration in the hospitality and healthcare sectors. During this COVID-19 era, Kimsey notes, his group has worked with these sectors to provide access to SBA’s PPP program and to help businesses navigate through these challenging times. There are several different economic opportunities, he explains, available to rural businesses, including the CARES Act stimulus packages. While the first round of money under this program went quickly, there are still funds available in the second round, Kimsey says. To date, he says, his group has provided about $120 million in loans, ranging from as little as $1,000 to as much as $7.5 million. It’s important to note, he says, that 75 percent of the PPP loans may be forgivable. In addition, Kimsey says, there are also loans and grants available from USDA. His group spent considerable time lobbying and advocating for rural businesses seeking different kinds of assistance. Despite these incredibly challenging times, Kimsey is encouraged by what he is now seeing. His group is   continuing to submit applications for new and existing projects (including solar) and is also continuing to receive e-mails and calls from businesses in rural American seeking new opportunities. This episode is sponsored by the National Rural Education Association, www.nrea.org; Community Hospital Corporation, community hospital corp.com; and Thomas USAF Group. www.thomasusaf.com

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