"Under the program, private financial institutions, including $100 million from Bank of America, will provide guarantees for a portion of the loans," Brammer writes. "The recipient organizations, or 're-lenders,' also must seek grants provided by seven of the nation's premier philanthropic organizations through a $22 million fund."
Vilsack said: "This effort builds on our commitment to lifting up the economic prospects of communities that have not benefited from the revitalization of rural America. By engaging with local and national partners, private-sector financial institutions and philanthropic organizations, USDA will inject a game-changing level of investment capital to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas where the capacity for growth has not been realized. As we have seen with the Obama administration's Promise Zone initiative and USDA's StrikeForce effort, targeted, place-based investments can have a real impact on reducing poverty. This funding adds another important tool in that fight."
UPDATE, Oct. 9: The Herald-Leader praised the effort in an editorial.