Fall is in the air and that means it's time to close out our audit and start planning for our annual meeting. This year, at our Annual Meeting, we will get to celebrate our new loan program from USDA, the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program from USDA. We've been a long-time partner with USDA and they provide us with many of the arrows we have in our lending quiver -- including lending for larger commercial ventures, community development projects and now microenterprise projects. Our smallest loans are some of our favorites, because they really can be that gentle push in a specific area that allows a business to modernize, become more efficient and even get started. USDA will allow us to reach out and do even more of those loans, so if you've been putting off something because it's too big to buy outright, but not large enough for a traditional loan, give us a call.

There's always a lot to do to stay connected with what is happening to support business in our region, such as the Chamber's Workforce Forum or last month's Prosperity Meeting to explore arts and economic development -- and, of course, our annual meeting. We hope to see you there!

-- Ross