WASHINGTON, July 13, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking steps to increase private investment in rural communities across the country by making it easier for lenders to access four flagship loan programs.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to cutting red tape and enhancing customer service so we can be a better partner to America’s rural leaders in building prosperity,” Secretary Perdue said. “These enhancements will make it easier for private lenders to use USDA programs to invest in rural businesses and grassroots rural economic development efforts.”

USDA is seeking public comment on a series of regulatory reforms known collectively as the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative. Under the initiative, USDA will eliminate duplicative processes and launch a single platform for four key loan programs:
Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program;
– Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program;
– Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program; and
– Rural Energy for America Guaranteed Loan Program.

USDA also will standardize requirements for credit reviews, loan processing, loan servicing and loss claims. These measures will make the application process simpler and faster for lenders. Among the reforms, USDA intends to:
– Launch a common loan note guarantee application and consistent forms for lenders to use across the four programs;
– Issue loan note guarantees to lenders within 48 hours after they provide documentation to prove the requirements of the conditional commitment have been met;
– Provide guarantee percentage and fee requirements to lenders through a single annual notice at the beginning of each fiscal year;
– Allow lenders to obtain approval for a loan guarantee prior to the beginning of construction projects. A one-time fee and other requirements may apply; and
– Provide automatic approval to lenders in good standing who are supervised or created by state or federal regulatory agencies to participate in all four programs. This expands the base of eligible lenders for the four guaranteed loan programs. Non-regulated lenders may seek approval to participate through a single certification process that will be valid for five years.

USDA plans to conduct a series of listening sessions this summer on the proposed changes. For more information on how to register, visit: www.rd.usda.gov/onerdguarantee.

The changes will take effect on Oct. 1, 2020. Additional information is available in the July 13, 2020, Federal Register (PDF, 896 KB).

Interested parties may join the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative subscription list to receive updates from USDA on this regulatory change.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.  
Press Release Release No. 0320.20
USDA Press
Email: press@oc.usda.gov
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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.  USDA Rural Development · 1400  Independence Ave SW · Washington DC 20250 · 800-670-6553
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We have retooled to provide you with the education, training, and networking opportunities you need to stay up to speed with all that is happening in the federal A/E/C sector—because supporting national security never stops!
That’s why we are pleased to announce Virtual JETC: Adapting for Today, and Tomorrow, beginning May 27, when JETC was originally scheduled to start! The program we have planned allows you to fully participate during the conference hours or as it best fits your schedule. Sessions can be experienced live in a virtual environment or by access later to a recording on demand. Plus, PDH credits will be available for all education and training sessions—regardless if you listen live or later!

Through Virtual JETC, and thanks to the continued support of our sponsors, you will hear from government decision-makers and industry leaders and get a detailed look at how our profession is pivoting to tackle the infrastructure-related national security challenges we are all facing in this unprecedented environment. Join your colleagues for this extraordinary opportunity to come together to learn, share, and connect, virtually.   

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Visit our sessions page to see all offerings and activities planned for Virtual JETC!   

Our schedule-at-a-glance is live and ready to explore. Don’t miss television host, writer, and narrator Mike Rowe, known for his work on the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs and as an advocate for supporting the trades fields, who will highlight our General Session on Thursday, May 28.  

Additional program highlights include…
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See the Virtual JETC agenda here. More program information will be added in the coming days, so be sure to check back for updates.  

Don’t miss this chance to engage with decision-makers and industry leaders. We look forward to “seeing” you there. Virtual JETC launches May 27 at 11 am!  

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“Our Society is agile and strong. We will not allow the coronavirus to delay or cancel this event—because we are engineers, and we are about finding solutions. We will present significant General Sessions and excellent Technical Training virtually, while transitioning our Presidents and beginning our Second Century. We will finish this 100th year by providing you, our members, an excellent Virtual JETC, as we adapt for today, and tomorrow. See you there!”       -Lt. Col. Buddy Barnes, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.), SAME National President 2019-2020    

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Wells Fargo said Sunday evening that it has exhausted its $10 billion capacity for lending under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program as the bank operates under a regulatory asset cap.

In other words, amid the pandemic-induced downturn that has some talking of an impending economic depression, one of the nation’s largest lenders will largely be kept on the sidelines

“Today, the company continues to operate in compliance with an asset cap imposed by its regulator due to actions of past leadership,” Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement Sunday. “While we are actively working to create balance sheet capacity to lend, we are limited in our ongoing ability to use our strong capital and liquidity position to extend additional credit.

“Since I arrived at the company, I have been clear that we will direct all resources necessary to do the work required by our regulators and we are in the process of doing so,” Scharf said. “We are committed to helping our customers during these unprecedented and challenging times, but are restricted in our ability to serve as many customers as we would like under the PPP.”

Wells Fargo closing its loan window under the special SBA program is likely to stun millions of small business owners across the country that bank with Wells Fargo and were planning to apply this week for the SBA PPP loans that eventually become grants if the money is used to keep employees on the payroll and to pay other eligible expenses.

Small business owners’ lenders and accountants are expecting a wave of loan applications to come in this week for the SBA program that began on April 3.

Read the full article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2020/04/05/wells-fargo-closes-loan-window-for-sba-relief.html

While we made the decision to cancel the 2020 SAME Capital Week and DOD & Federal Agency Program Briefings (which was scheduled for March 16-18 in Rockville, Md.) as part of the critical efforts ongoing our country to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we also know that the information provided by the government presenters is crucial to the near-term and long-term strategic planning of the A/E/C industry firms that support our nation and our military’s critical facilities, infrastructure, and resilience needs. The presentations (in PDF format) that the agencies were going to give are now available for download on the Capital Week website. Thank you to all our government presenters for providing their presentations to be shared with the SAME audience. The work that SAME members, partners, and stakeholders do is vital to national security, and building relationships and trust through their interactions in the Society has been a critical part of how they do it for 100 years. Hear from the Department of Defense and other Federal Agency Leaders Learn about the projected upcoming fiscal year engineering, construction and environmental programs from contracting representatives, flag and general officers, and senior executive service leaders from the engineering components of the military services and select federal agencies.

 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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For the latest updates on our response to COVID-19, go to same.org.

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Come Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning how to grow your own business!!

You’re Invited to
GSA Region 8’s Women Owned Small Business Matchmaking Event 

When: March 31, 2020 from 9 a.m. –  12 p.m.
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