Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced June 26 the selection of 28 recipients in rural communities for loans and grants to spur economic development and create or save jobs.
"The funding I am announcing today will help rural businesses, entrepreneurs and tribal communities obtain the financing they need to grow their businesses and create jobs," Vilsack said. "These grants and loans represent the Obama administration's commitment to ensure that rural communities attract capital investments that lead to successful business development, job creation, infrastructure improvements, and economically vibrant communities."
USDA Rural Development is providing the loans and grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), and the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.
USDA's IRP is designed to increase economic activity and employment in rural communities. Under this program, loans are provided to local organizations (intermediaries) to establish revolving loan funds. These revolving loan funds are used to finance business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. With the announcement, Community Resource Group, Inc., the Southern RCAP, in Fayetteville, Ark., was selected to receive a $400,000 loan to provide low-interest loans to rural water and wastewater facilities in counties in the Mississippi Delta. These loans will be used for capital improvements, predevelopment costs and energy efficiency upgrades.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.