Illinois USDA Awards Loans and Grants to Support Rural Economic Development

Kate O'Hara
Release Date
Apr 08, 2015

USDA has announced the award of a $2 million loan for M.J.M. Electric Cooperative of Macoupin County to promote rural economic development. The funds will be loaned at zero percent interest to Carlinville Area Hospital to assist with the construction of a new medical clinic.

The new facility will add about 28,000 square feet of space and aid in creating 12 new jobs. Services will include primary care, behavioral health, physical/occupational therapy and infusion therapy. Illini Medical Group and Springfield Clinic will also have significant space within the clinic, which is designed to create a professional medical community and promote healthcare close to home.

“Access to healthcare is a challenge for too many of our rural residents, just as economic growth can be a challenge for rural communities,” said Colleen Callahan, Illinois Rural Development Director. “Through this project healthcare is a winner, economic development is a winner – and the people who live in this area are the biggest winners of all.”

The funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, which provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. These revolving loan funds broaden the program's reach and create a multiplier effect for its impact.

The award for M.J.M. Electric Cooperative was the first Illinois project in the announcement of 38 in 12 states totaling $31 million in loans and grants.

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the REDLG program has helped create or save more than 32,000 rural jobs, provided almost $338 million in economic development assistance, improved manufacturing capability, expanded health care and educational facilities and helped expand or establish almost 1,200 rural businesses and community projects.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.