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.
“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.”
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.
Projects funded through the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program will provide business based training and technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs and microbusinesses. Projects include:
Native360 Loan Fund, Inc., $9,000,
serving Boyd, Burt, rural Douglas, Hall, Holt, Knox, rural Lancaster, Madison, Platte, rural Sarpy, Stanton and Wayne counties.
Northeast Economic Development Inc., $49,344, serving Antelope, Boone, Burt, Cedar, Colfax, Cuming, Dixon, Dodge, Knox, Madison, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Stanton, Thurston, and Wayne counties.
Center For Rural Affairs, $111,107, serving all 93 counties statewide.
Nebraska Enterprise Fund, $135,736, serving all 93 counties statewide
Additionally, one project was funded through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, which provides grants to rural utilities program borrowers to provide economic development through a revolving loan fund.
City of Beatrice, $300,000 grant, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program: This investment will assist Beatrice Community Hospital with the purchase and installation of a patient monitoring system.
“Rural America is critically important to our entire nation’s economy,” Nebraska USDA Rural Development Director Kate Bolz explained, “When people in Rural Nebraska succeed, we all succeed.The investments we are announcing today demonstrate that our USDA team remains committed to helping rural businesses create new and better market opportunities for hard working entrepreneurs and small business owners statewide.”
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
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.