Investment is Part of Biden-Harris Administration Investment of $981 million in 47 States, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands
WASHINGTON, 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. Two economic development organizations in Delaware and Maryland will receive a total of $39,304.
“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.”
USDA Rural Development Delaware and Maryland State Director David Baker said, “These USDA Rural Development funds will enable small and start-up businesses to receive technical assistance and advice as they start and expand their enterprise. This will help them succeed and improve job opportunities in rural Delaware and Maryland.”
In Delaware, First State Community Loan Fund, now known as True Access Capital, will receive a Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Grant of $31,822. This Rural Development investment will be used to provide business based training and technical assistance to rural microenterprises and microentrepreneurs in rural Delaware (Kent, Sussex and New Castle counties). As a participating microlender, grant funds are made available to True Access Capital, formerly known as First State Community Loan Fund, annually based on lending activity and the availability of funding. Previous grant funds have supported this project and been matched with at least 15 percent from True Access Capital.
In Maryland, Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center will receive a Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Grant in the amount of $7,482. This Rural Development investment will be used to provide business based training and technical assistance to rural microenterprises and microentrepreneurs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As a participating microlender, grant funds are made available to Eastern Shore entrepreneurship Center annually based on lending activity and the availability of funding. Previous grant funds have supported this project, and been matched with at least 15 percent from Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center.
The funding being announced today 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.
USDA is making 242 awards nationwide 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, 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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