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USDA to Bring New Jobs and Improved Infrastructure to North Carolina Rural Partners Network Communities

Robert Kerns
Release Date

More Than $25 Million Invested into North Carolina Economic Growth

RALEIGH, N.C., May 22, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is helping rural communities in North Carolina address some of their immediate needs and foster long-term economic growth. 

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda provides a historic opportunity to transform our economy from one that benefits a few to one that benefits many,” Vilsack said. “Through Rural Partners Network, USDA staff is on the ground listening to those many different voices in rural America and responding with funding and resources that will help people in small towns, rural places and on Tribal lands build stronger communities and brighter futures.”

USDA is providing loans and grants to help people living in rural and Tribal communities in the North Carolina Rural Partners Network (RPN) access good-paying jobs, improved infrastructure, affordable housing and quality health care.

“In North Carolina RPN is collaborating with rural and Tribal communities to help them identify resources to build stronger communities and brighter futures for the unique places they call home,” said Rural Development State Director Reginald Speight. “The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are committed to ensuring that people in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities in rural America.”

For Example:

  • In Columbus County, the Men and Women United for Youth and Families Inc. will use a $300 thousand Community Facilities Direct Loan to purchase a facility to execute their existing programs such as job and workforce training and a community food hub.
  • In Columbus County, Brunswick EMC, will use a $300 thousand Rural Economic Development Grant to assist with the interior renovation of a county owned building in Whiteville to create office space, a business and incubator. The renovated building will provide Southeastern Community College space for the college's small business center.
  • In Edgecombe County, Tarboro Propco LLC, will use a $7.2 million Business and Industry Loan to refinance the acquisition and renovation debt for The Bridges of Hendricks Creek, a 73-bed facility, offering assisted living in memory care services.
  • In Halifax County, Halifax Electric Membership Corp. will use a portion of a $300 thousand Rural Economic Development Grant to assist the Enfield Fire Department purchase a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban command vehicle.
  • In Nash County, the town of Sharpsburg, will use $118 thousand in Community Facilities Direct Loans and $100 thousand in Community Facilities Direct Grants to purchase and register a 2023 Ford F-150 crew cab truck and a 2023 Ford F-250 crew cab truck to function as public works vehicles. The town will also purchase to purchase and register two 2023 Dodge Durangos, which will be fully upfitted for the town police department.
  • In Robeson County, Lumberton Hotels 1 LLC, use a $3.3 million Business and Industry Loan to fund the acquisition of the four story 56-room, Country Inn and Suites franchise hotel in Lumberton.
  • In Robeson County, Lumberton Hotels 2 LLC, use a $4.6 million Business and Industry Loan to fund the acquisition of a 70 room Comfort Inn and Suites franchise in Lumberton.
  • In Robeson County, the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority, will use a $467 thousand Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grant to assist in the self-help housing construction projects in Cumberland, Hoke and Robeson counties. The grant recipient supervises groups of very-low- and low-income individuals and families as they construct their own homes in rural areas.

In all, the funding will support 52 projects in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. Some projects also will benefit people outside RPN communities in Alabama, Florida and Texas.

RPN is an all-of-government program more than 800 federal, state and local partners that collaborate to address specific needs in communities that have long struggled to access government programs and funding. 

Nationwide today’s announcement includes $394 million in awards from USDA that will benefit RPN communities and support their long-term visions for strong, local economies.

A complete list of projects is available online.

Background: Rural Partners Network

Launched in April 2022 and expanded in November 2022, the Rural Partners Network is now active in 36 community networks in 10 states and Puerto Rico.

Community networks receive support from full-time USDA staff who live and work locally. These staff members provide technical assistance based on each community’s needs, helping them navigate federal programs, build relationships and prepare successful applications for funding. In addition to USDA staff, there are staff at about 20 other federal agencies dedicated to RPN and making resources across the government easier to access for people in rural communities.

RPN communities also benefit from coordination through other federal efforts such as the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization and President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. The Rural Prosperity Interagency Policy Council, co-led by the White House Domestic Policy Council and USDA, advises the RPN program and shares lessons learned through RPN for policy consideration.

For more information on RPN, visit Rural.gov.

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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.