USDA business loans have helped thousands of rural businesses across the country start and scale operations while powering the growth of American industry. USDA business loans for renewable energies, farming, food production, and supply chain operations are recent focus areas for the USDA programs since they are aimed at creating jobs and modernizing rural economies for the next generation.
Hundreds of business owners have worked with West Town Bank & Trust’s Government Guaranteed Lending team to leverage USDA business loans as a springboard for their growth. How would you use a USDA business loan program for your next success?
Cardinal Foods scaled food processing and cold storage facilities with USDA financing.
Cardinal Foods, a fruit and vegetable processing company, leveraged a $17+ million USDA Business & Industry (B&I) Loan to add a significant amount of equipment to their facility, expand their building footprint, and improve the efficiency of the regional supply chain.
The Opportunity: Food Processing that Shortens the Route from Farm to Table
Cardinal Foods offers innovative solutions for processing and transporting fruits and vegetables, and supplies food manufacturers with fresh, raw ingredients. Their logistics and cold storage solutions help raw foods retain freshness and longer shelf life on their routes from farm to table.
Local demand for food processing and cold storage services was growing steadily in North Carolina at the time. Many raw foods were being shipped out of North Carolina to be processed in other states before returning to local grocery store shelves.
Cardinal Foods had an opportunity to grow its client portfolio with local farms and businesses if it could scale its processing capacity. Additionally, more businesses would be able to keep more of their operations in-state, solving logistical inefficiencies in the region that impacted numerous Southeastern grocery stores.
The Challenge: Business-Friendly Financing for Food Processing and Cold Storage
The business needed a significant amount of capital to power its growth and scale its facilities. Cardinal Foods needed to expand its existing footprint by 56,000-sf and add substantial new equipment to keep up with the demand for its services. Additionally, the business sought to refinance a short-term loan previously used for equipment purchases to improve the company’s liquidity.
The Solution: The USDA B&I Loan Program
Cardinal Foods worked with the USDA lenders at West Town Bank & Trust to finalize a $17+ million financing solution on business-friendly terms to power their growth long-term. The loan program allowed Cardinal Foods to access funds that could be used for construction, equipment purchases, and refinancing debt.
The Result: Facility Expansion and Long-Term Growth Opportunities
The facility expansion enabled Cardinal Foods to capitalize on opportunities to grow its customer base while strengthening the regional food supply. Because of the loan’s extended terms and wide range of eligible uses, Cardinal Foods was able to finance its expansion and improve liquidity by refinancing existing short-term debts.
The growth of their process facility in Burgaw, North Carolina supported job creation in the region while streamlining supply chain inefficiencies. Cardinal Foods’ local solution enabled North Carolina growers to process crops locally and opened access to global markets that were previously limited, creating more opportunities for the company, its partners, and the rural economy at large.
What would you do with affordable capital?
Check your eligibility for the USDA B&I Loan Program.