USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O’Brien today announced four projects totaling $3.75 million to boost economic activity and employment in rural communities in four states.
“These ongoing investments increase economic opportunities for rural entrepreneurs that enable them to create jobs for local residents,” O’Brien said. “USDA is working at the grassroots level to inject capital into rural communities to help people start or expand businesses. This is one of the ways that USDA’s rural business programs are helping rural residents achieve greater prosperity and success.”
The assistance is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), which the 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized through 2018.
Under the program, USDA lends money to economic development intermediaries (non-profits and public bodies) who re-lend it to rural businesses (ultimate recipients) that might not otherwise be able to obtain such financing. The program supports economic development and helps create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. USDA encourages intermediaries to work with state and regional organizations that can provide complementary resources.
The following is a complete list of the organizations that will receive funding, contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement:
- Montana Community Development Corporation. $1 million loan; for business and community development in Cascade, Flathead, Granite, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli and Sanders counties.
- Bridgeway Capital, Inc. $1 million loan; to help rural businesses in western Pennsylvania.
- North Central Washington Business Loan Fund. $750,000 loan; to provide capital to rural businesses in Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan counties.
- Adams Columbia Electric Cooperative. $1 million loan; for business and community development in Adams County.
USDA Rural Development has provided several IRP loans to Oregon’s Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) for ongoing lending in the region. In May 2013, MCEDD provided a $150,000 loan to Native American sisters Kim Brigham Campbell and Terrie Brigham to open a fish market in Cascade Locks. The facility includes cold storage, a smoker, packaging space and a retail area.
Today’s announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America during the past five years while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since the Bill’s enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.