Forestry Equipment and Working Capital Loan Fund

by Steve McHenry, Executive Director, MARBIDCO

I want to make members of Maryland's forestry community aware of a new
MARBIDCO program designed especially to help Maryland's forest products-related enterprises to access capital for business modernization on an affordable basis. The Forestry Equipment and Working Capital Loan Fund was recently approved by the MARBIDCO Board of Directors to help meet the unique financing needs of Maryland's smaller forestry-related businesses. MARBIDCO funded 16 rural business loan requests last year (our first year of operation), but most of these businesses were agricultural operations of one type or another. Because of special challenges facing forestry businesses in Maryland today, MARBIDCO plans to utilize more liberal underwriting guidelines than normal when making loans under this program. The maximum loan amount is $150,000. A program description and loan application form is attached for your review. Please pass this information on to any interested parties.

In addition, I also wanted to let you know that the MARBIDCO Board has approved the establishment of a Sustainable Forestry Emergency Loan Fund program, as a revolving loan fund, to provide low-interest loans to qualified forest landowners to assist with short-term family financial needs (i.e., serious medical emergencies and death/estate tax situations). A major aim of this program is to prevent woodland fragmentation and the conversion of forestland into development. These loans would be secured by the private forestland itself, operating under an approved forest management plan, and the forestland at issue would not be able to be sold for development during the period that the loan agreement is in effect. This program is not yet capitalized, but we are working hard on trying to find some seed funding for this program. Also of interest, a "rapid-response" Forestland Easement Option Purchase Program is also under active development that would be loosely modeled on the Next Generation Farmland Acquisition Program (a program that was partially funded by the Maryland General Assembly this year). Please stay tuned over the coming months for developments pertaining to these forestland conservation programs. With some good luck, and your active support, we hope to make these programs operational in 2009.

And for more information about any of MARBIDCO's loan, grant, or land preservation facilitation programs, please visit us on the web at Thanks.

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