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USDA Awards $32 Million in Loans and Grants Nationwide to Support Rural Economic Development, Funding Supports Microentrepreneurs in Rural Oregon

Erin McDuff
Release Date

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded $32 million in loans and grants nationwide that will promote economic development in more than 80 rural American communities, including $425,000 to support microentrepreneurs in rural Oregon, announced State Director Vicki Walker today.

“Small businesses are the engine that drives rural economies,” said Walker. “Today’s funding will increase access to capital for rural small businesses and foster an environment of entrepreneurship by giving business owners the technical assistance they need to create jobs, expand operations, enter into new markets, and fuel the local economy.”

Two organizations serving rural Oregon are receiving funding under today’s announcement through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), which provides loans and grants to organizations to be used to provide microloans for microenterprise startups and growth, as well as to provide training and technical assistance to microloan borrowers.

The Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments is receiving a $200,000 loan and a $50,000 grant to capitalize a microloan revolving fund that will lend to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. The funding will also be used to provide technical assistance to rural businesses in these areas.

The Economic Development Council of Tillamook County is receiving a $140,000 loan and a $35,000 grant to capitalize a microloan revolving fund, as well as to provide technical assistance for rural microbusinesses and microentrepreneurs in Tillamook County.

With today’s funding, USDA is investing in 86 projects nationwide through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, the Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Business Development Grant Program, and the Community Connect program. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD) has invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; and funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov/results