USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program – Noteworthy Revisions For Community Banks

The Business and Industry (B&I) loan program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or Agency) guarantees loans by qualified lenders to benefit rural businesses. For eligible projects, community banks can obtain an 80% guarantee for loans up to $5 million, a 70% guarantee for loans between $5 million and $10 million and a 60% guarantee for loans between $10 million and $25 million. The B&I guaranteed loan program allows lenders to expand their loan portfolio, obtain a deficiency guarantee, increase earnings by participating in the secondary market, make loans in smaller communities with traditionally lower collateral values and extend loans above their legal lending limits.

For each loan, lenders submit a detailed guarantee application to the Agency office in the state where the project is located. Approval or denial decisions generally take several weeks. Projects eligible for B&I financing include business acquisitions, commercial real estate purchases, startup costs and working capital, machinery and equipment purchases and some refinances.

On December 17, 2008, the USDA published a new interim rule pertaining to the B&I loan program in the Federal Register. Effective October 1, 2009, the new rule is designed to streamline the application, accelerate the guarantee approval process and expand the types of eligible projects. The Agency ultimately decided to abandon the new rule and instead focus on working within the existing regulatory framework to improve the B&I loan program.

Under the previous rule, the B&I loan program required lenders to compile burdensome applications and to deal with lengthy approval timelines and limited loan features. For example, a common lender complaint has been the laborious guarantee application process. For every loan under the previous regulations, B&I lenders had to submit to the local Agency all of their underwriting and loan approval documents, at least three B&I application forms, the draft loan agreement, copies of loan origination and servicing policies and procedures, and details concerning lending history, experience and their relationship with regulators. The Agency also awarded guarantees on a “priority scoring” basis, which gave loans in particularly rural areas with compelling purposes priority over otherwise eligible loans that earned a lower “score”. An approval or denial decision for lower scoring loans could take months from the application submission.

The USDA aims to reduce these drawbacks with the revised rule. The new rule attempts to streamline the original application process. Lenders must apply to participate in the guaranteed loan program by submitting background information such as descriptions of lending history and experience, policy and procedures and documentation concerning regulatory compliance (7 CFR 5001.9). Although lenders had to submit this information under the old rule, they are now permitted to submit summaries instead of copies of their policies and procedures (§5001.9(a)(1)). Once approved by the agency, lenders will no longer have to submit this background information when applying for loan guarantees (§5001.9(b)(4)). The revised rule also reduces the number of guarantee application forms (§ 5001.12(a)) and eliminates the draft loan agreement (§5001.34). In addition to simplifying the application process, the new rule endeavors to reduce the guarantee approval timeline.

Two changes aim to accelerate the guarantee approval process. The Agency has eliminated its “priority scoring” system in favor of a simpler first-come-first-serve approach (§5001.103(f)(1)). Additionally, the Agency has created a preferred lender program (PLP) (§5001.9(d)). The benefits of obtaining PLP status include a ten day approval or denial decision (§5001.11(c)), a smaller guarantee application package (§5001.12(b)) and the opportunity to obtain preferred status in more than one state with a single PLP application (§5001.9(d)(2)). In addition to streamlining the application process, the Agency has introduced some new loan features to the B&I loan program.

B&I guarantees may now be issued for additional uses and purposes. Under the previous regulations, lines of credit were ineligible. Lines of credit are now eligible when used for annual operating/business expenses, debts advanced for the current operating cycle, scheduled non-delinquent term borrower debt or closing costs (§5001.103(b)(2)(xix)). Projects involving leasehold improvements and the purchase of mixed use commercial and residential buildings are also now eligible for B&I guarantees (§5001.103(b)(2)(xviii, xx)). Another new feature removes the prohibition that interest rates change no more often than quarterly, and allows lenders to set a variable rate that adjusts as often as daily (§5001.31(a)). These new features allow lenders to obtain a valuable B&I guarantee for projects that previously were ineligible.

Although these features are now available to lenders, some revisions to the rule are less clear and useful tools have been eliminated. For example, the Agency has replaced the proposed cash equity criterion with a debt-to-tangible net worth ratio criterion (§5001.6(c)), but has failed to define this calculation other than referring to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Additionally, the rule eliminates the Agency’s limited authority to issue 90% guarantees. Again, the Agency ultimately decided to abandon the new rule and instead focus on working within the existing regulatory framework to improve the B&I loan program.

How to Get Started on Affiliate Business Internet Marketing Online Promotion

If you’re one of the thousands of people who want to learn how you can get started on affiliate business Internet marketing online promotion, then this is the perfect short article for you. In order to become successful in affiliate marketing, the key is to give yourself the upper advantage through education. This way, you will not just learn the ways on how you can effectively market products as an affiliate, you will also be able to troubleshoot the system if ever problems arise.

Probably the number one reason why many online businesses have chosen to capitalize on affiliate marketing is the fact that it’s now attainable to become rich even without having to invest a large amount of capital. Just think, you won’t have to exert any effort into conceptualizing what kind of products you should sell or what kind of advertising techniques you should choose as more often than not, affiliate programs usually have their own systems for you to follow. As long as you focus on the program and follow their set rules, there’s no reason why you won’t become successful in this arena in the long run. Here are 3 tips on how you can get started on affiliate business Internet marketing online promotion.

Be an expert on spotting legitimate programs

Before applying to become an affiliate, make sure that the program that you have chosen is legitimate. Do your own background search on the companies first so that you can avoid becoming scammed. Check for any online reviews from other affiliates to get an idea on what kind of support they are capable of giving. There are many affiliate programs out there that can only promise and not deliver any goods. Getting into this mess will not just cost you money, but also a reputation as well.

Stick to the system

Once you’ve found a legitimate program to join, make sure that you follow their system to the last detail. Good affiliate programs shouldn’t just provide you with products or services to sell, but also a great marketing strategy that will be able to take care of your promotional concerns as well. This way, you get a complete package without having to invest so much time or money into the endeavor. It’s really easy to earn money on the Internet, it’s just a matter of knowing which system will help you go about it.

Learn from the best

Last but not the least, if you want to be successful as a premier affiliate business Internet marketer, you should take the lead of those who have come before you by learning the techniques of the very best in the league. You just need to take note of the facets that has worked for them perfectly so that you can find ways on how you can tailor it to work on your online endeavor as well.

At the end of the day, the trick to having a successful affiliate business Internet marketing online promotion outfit is by employing a low cost start up approach to your operations. As long you follow the tips that you have read here, you will be able to successfully start your own operation in no time.

The Benefits of Business Money Market Accounts

Business money market accounts are investment tools that give companies easy access to their funds while offering a very reasonable rate of return. But this is not the only benefit of taking this investing route. Let’s look at a few others:

Tiered Account Rates – Many banks offer the benefit of tiered account rates, which means the more cash you place in your account, the higher your interest rate will be. So as you add to your balance, you will be able to take advantage of a higher rate of return.

Liquidity/Check-Writing Privileges – Another benefit of using business money market accounts as one of your company’s investment tools is taking advantage of a liquid account. You will likely always have access to your funds, which would be available through your check-writing privileges.

No Minimum Transaction Amount – As a promotional tool, most financial institutions require no minimum transaction amount for your account. This definitely helps in cutting down your fees, making investing that much easier.

The above benefits are good reasons to take on an account for your company. But before you dive in, be sure to consider the following:

Possible limitations. There may be some limitations on the number of transactions you can make a month with some business money market accounts. For instance, you may not be able to make over 6 withdrawals without being penalized.

Fees/Minimum amount required. Some institutions may implement a minimum amount that is required to remain in your account at all times. For many, this amount is $5,000. If you fall below it, you may be accessed a monthly service fee.

With many other investment tools available for companies, business money market accounts are just one of the ways you can gain returns on your funds. But because they are so liquid and offer many of the privileges of a bank account, you can benefit well from making this one of the ways you choose to invest for your company.

Protecting Your Feet, Legs and Back While Standing for Extended Periods of Time

In the past, when people went to work they went to an office or cubicle, sat in their chair and started their daily tasks. However, there are many negative physical side effects that come from sitting down for too long. For this reason, there are a number of different options to keep people active while they are at their desks. There’s a treadmill desk that allows people to walk or run while at the computer. While this may be a good idea in theory, it may go a little overboard. However, the standing desk is something that is becoming much more popular in office environments.

Unfortunately, there are some side effects that come from a standing desk. Many people experience issues with their backs, legs and knees. Standing for extended periods of time can be difficult without proper support. That’s why people are encouraged to have good comfortable shoes with the proper support. They are also encouraged to use a standing desk mat.

These mats are cushioned a bit more than the a standard desk mat. The reason for this is because standing desk mats are used specifically for standing desks. The type of comfort and cushioning these mats provide allow people to face less physical and mechanical stress on the joints in their knees and ankles. It also helps to cushion the feet to make standing for extended periods of time less painful and difficult. A mat can also prevent the injuries and stress that can occur to the lower lumbar regions of a person’s back.

Not only can these items be used in an office, they are also very helpful for kitchens. People that spend a great deal of time on their feet cooking in a restaurant kitchen or in their home kitchen can benefit from the comfort that a cushioned mat can provide.

Regardless of whether it’s an office, a commercial kitchen or you’re simply looking for a bit more comfort when standing in front of the sink or the stove at your home, specialized standing mats may be exactly what you need. With the cushion they provide, you can stand for extended periods of time without any undue stress or discomfort.

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Critical Information People Should Know About Medicare Eligibility

There will most likely be a number of things that people will encounter when they grow old and when we reach the age 65, people will then be qualified for an Initial Enrollment with Medicare. At this age, people will then be eligible to purchase Medicare Supplements without the need to answer questions related to health and in most cases, people will only have one initial enrollment period and this starts depending on your eligibility month, which is the month when you will reach 65. The initial enrollment for Medicare also has a specific time and this starts three months before the month when you will turn 65 and three months after that.

This time actually is a great opportunity for most people who will be turning 65 because this is aimed to help people get ahold of Medicare health insurances as most of the insurance companies that you will find today will use medical underwriting prior to accepting or approving your application. There will then be a number of benefits that one can avail should then decide to enroll during the initial enrollment period and one of these benefits include having to purchase any Medicare Supplement that is there without the need to go through answering a series of questions that all has something to do with your health in general.

While the initial enrollment period is given only to people once, people with disability issues will be able to have their initial enrollment period twice. All of the privileges that one will avail on their second initial enrollment will very much be the same as the privileges that one will get on their first time.
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When people decide to avail Medicare on their initial enrollment period, chances are that there will be other cases where Medicare Supplements will cover what Medicare do not, especially in hospitals and other areas, which should also include the doctor’s office, but even so, still, Medicare Supplement does not cover most of the prescribed drugs.
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Keep in mind that you will also have to be really careful when you are to choose a specific Medicare plan because these are very much different from each other, and the selection should be dependent on your specific case and medical needs. Price also is one thing that you will have to be concerned about but it will surely be best for you to take the right steps and choose as per your needs instead of going for price.

Make sure that you will go through the items that Medicare has to offer to make sure that you will not be choosing the wrong one.