NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 06, 2022 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $981 million to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs in 47 states, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Tennessee State Director Arlisa Armstrong is pleased to announce more than $26.7 million in investments will benefit rural businesses and entrepreneurs in Tennessee.
“We are committed to helping rural businesses with funding and creating jobs,” Armstrong said. “Today’s announcement highlights a partnership with three rural businesses that we have the opportunity to help build bright futures for their rural community.”
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.
- Appalachian Equipment Solutions will use a $1,680,000 Business and Industry loan to purchase a commercial facility in Athens, Tennessee. Appalachian Equipment Solutions, a heavy equipment retailer, will use the purchased real estate as a retail sales and rental facility.
- National Parks Resort Lodge LLC will use a $25 million Business and Industry loan to renovate and expand a hotel, conference center and water park. The project will increase tourism opportunities for rural Sevier County. Approximately 12 million visitors come to this region annually. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is within ten miles of the project site. The hotel expansion will create six new jobs and save 39 jobs.
- Three Roots Capital will use a $57,554 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grant to conduct training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers. This project supports the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.
USDA is making 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 Program, Business 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, 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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.