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The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority is accepting applications for two programs aimed to help rural small businesses, especially meat processors.

A "Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit Program" is available to qualifying meat processors that want to modernize or expand their facilities, according to a news release from MASBDA.

The tax credit is worth 25 percent of the modernization or expansion costs, with a maximum of $75,000 a year.

"Our meat processors are critical to our farmers, ranchers and small communities. It's vital that we have facilities to process Missouri's agricultural goods," MASBDA Executive Director Jill Wood said.

Agricultural businesses in towns with populations of less than 50,000 may also be eligible to receive funds from the Missouri Agribusiness Revolving Loan Fund.

Qualifying agribusinesses may include value-added agriculture enterprises, agriculture support businesses, marketers or retailers of agricultural products, and businesses with emerging agricultural technology.

The loan funds can be used to start, acquire, operate or expand an agribusiness. Due to COVID-19, a fixed interest rate of 4 percent is available.

A loan will finance 75 percent of a project's cost if it is in a first lien position with a maximum loan of $112,500. A project in a second lien position will have 50 percent of its cost funded by a loan, with a maximum loan of $75,000.

More information and applications are available at MASBDA's website, agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/masbda. More information is also available by contacting MASBDA by phone at 573-751-2129 or email at [email protected]

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