USDA Announces Investments in Businesses and Rural Economic Development

Tammi Schone
District of Columbia
Release Date
Jan 23, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in rural businesses to help create jobs and spur economic development.

"These investments will help businesses expand, help rural communities grow their economies and help support the community-based development goals of the Obama administration," Vilsack said. "USDA is providing loans and grants to our local partners who can leverage this money with funds from other sources for projects that will have broad economic impacts.
The funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Under this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans 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.

In South Dakota, Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. based in Webster, has been selected to receive a $300,000 grant to increase Lake Region Electric’s economic development revolving loan fund. 
In addition to the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, other USDA programs help rural businesses. In Fiscal Year 2013, which ended September 30, USDA supported 26 organizations with more than $17 million for revolving loans through the Intermediary Relending Program. Additionally, USDA Rural Development provided nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees through the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program to improve, develop or finance businesses in rural communities.
Also, Vilsack announced the award of four Rural Business Enterprise Grants – one of the recipients is from South Dakota - the City of McLaughlin is receiving a $42,455 grant to purchase equipment for a community youth organization.
In total, Vilsack announced today $17.6 million in loans and grants for projects in 15 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.

View the full list of recipients for Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants and Rural Business Enterprise Grants. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

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. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.