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Biden-Harris Administration Invests $20 Million to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and Entrepreneurs in North Carolina

Robert Kerns
Release Date

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 06, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $20 million to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs in North Carolina.

“Rural North Carolina is critically important to our entire nation’s economy. When the people in rural America succeed, we all succeed,” said Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight. “The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate how USDA remains committed to helping rural businesses create new and better market opportunities.”

The funding will help keep resources and wealth made by rural people right at home through affordable financing and technical assistance. It will help rural Americans start businesses and allow small business owners to grow. It will also open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing.  

“Rural people provide the everyday essentials our country depends on,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is dedicated to helping people through job creation and expansion of entrepreneurial opportunities in the rural places they live. The partnerships we’re announcing today demonstrate USDA’s commitment to advocating for rural business owners and building brighter futures for everyone in rural America.”

For example: 

  • In Anson County, Pee Dee Electric Membership Corporation will use a Rural Economic Development $272,296 loan and $122,014 grant for funding to the Peachland Fire District, to assist in the purchase a pumper fire truck.
  • In Buncombe County, Mountain Bizcapital Inc. will use a $32,664 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Grant to provide low-interest loans to public and non-profit organizations to relend the business and community development.
  • In Burke County, Valdese Economic Development Investment will use a $31,123 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Grant to develop a revolving loan fund. The recipient, Advancement, has been in business for more than 50 years and serves Robeson, Hoke, Scotland, Bladen, and Columbus counties in southeastern North Carolina.
  • In Burke County, Industrial Commons will use a $200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant to further the work of The Industrial Commons, in rural Western North Carolina. They propose to provide direct technical assistance to three privately-owned businesses and two community groups that are at various stages of consideration and/or implementation of conversion into worker-owned cooperatives.
  • In Caldwell County, Blue Ridge EMC will use a $300,000 Rural Economic Development Grant to provide a revolving loan fund. The initial project will provide funding to the Collettsville Volunteer Fire and Rescue to help purchase a new pumper fire truck.
  • In Cherokee County, Mountain Hiex LLC will use a $4,580,000 loan to provide the acquisition of a 51-room Hotel & Suites in Murphy, North Carolina.
  • In Craven County, Aylward Enterprises LLC will use a $2,512,000 loan to refinance existing debt that was incurred by the company's present management to obtain permanent working capital.
  • In Durham County, Carolina Common Enterprises will use a $200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant to assist with technical assistance within the Carolina Common Enterprise work plan to expand efforts to preserve rural jobs through worker co-op conversions.
  • In Graham County, Vos3 LLC will use a $7,600,000 loan to purchase the historic Tapoco lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina. The remote mountainous location makes it popular with the motorcyclists and sports car enthusiast while the restaurant is popular with local residents and the summer home community around nearby Lake Santeetiah.
  • In Pitt County, Pitt and Greene Electric Membership Corporation will use a $1,500,000 Rural Economic Development Loan to assist Pitt County in the construction of a 53,000 square foot industrial building in the Farmville Corporate Park in Pitt County. 
  • In Warren County, Virginia Line Solar will use a $2,900,000 loan to purchase and install a 48.57 mega-watt solar system. The system is estimated to produce 88,880,098 kilo-watt hours in its first year, which is enough electricity to power 8,080 homes.


Nationwide USDA is investing $981 million in 47 states, Guam and the Virgin Islands for a total of 242 awards through eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.

These programs are the Biofuel Producer Relief Payments ProgramBusiness and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants program, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.

The awards are being made in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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