PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 7, 2022 — United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Oregon State Director Margaret Hoffmann announced Oregon's recipients of fiscal year 2021's Business & Industries Loan Guarantees, the B&I CARES Act Program, and Value Added Producer Grant funding. These investments are part of USDA RD’s ongoing effort to encourage economic diversity and create jobs with competitive wages by supporting local businesses in rural Oregon.
"RD Oregon’s grants, loans and loan guarantees provide a vital lifeline for Oregon’s rural businesses," said Hoffmann. "As we continue to recover from this unprecedented pandemic, these funds will support job creation and outreach opportunities in communities that have historically lacked access to critical resources and financing."
Nearly $35 million in grants, loans and loan guarantees were awarded to Oregon businesses, bringing much needed relief to local economies exiting a long and challenging pandemic. The recipients range from ranches to renewable energy projects.
For example, as part of USDA RD’s Business & Industries CARES Act Program:
- Thrivify, LLC received $1,954,000 to help mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and occupancy restrictions on The Lodge, a senior assisted living facility in Sisters.
Additionally, as part of the Business & Industries Loan Guarantees program:
- Virk Hospitality Bandon, LLC received $5,000,000 for the preservation of The Bandon Inn, a historic boutique hotel in Bandon. The project will save 20 well-paying jobs and support tourism in the small coastal community; and
- K&L Investments, LLC received $1,890,000 for the purchase and operation of a combination Chevron gas station, restaurant and convenience store in Baker City. The project will save an additional 12 jobs along an area of I-84 that is heavily trafficked by both tourists and locals.
In addition to these projects, 18 Oregon farms and orchards received over $4 million in funding through USDA RD’s Value Added Producer Grant, including:
- Champoeg Farm received $250,000 for the promotion of their sustainable, regenerative poultry production, creating 6 new jobs for St. Paul, OR.
- Rivercrest Ranch of Jacksonville, OR received $250,000 to launch their own estate bottled private wine business and to create new jobs and economic opportunities through collaboration with other Jackson County vineyards.
- TerraSol Organics, a small microgreen farm in Josephine County, will receive $250,000 to hire new staff, expand marketing operations, and reimagine sustainable packaging for their products.
The funds will allow these businesses to expand operations, create new jobs and train existing employees. New opportunities and added-value projects will help rural Oregon create more resilient, innovative local economies.
Today’s announcement is part of a nationwide announcement totaling $1.4 billion in USDA investments. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted 751 investments that USDA is making in eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, which provided record-breaking investments in fiscal year 2021, and the B&I CARES Act Program, which has helped create thousands of jobs with funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Programs also include Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, Intermediary Relending Program and Value-Added Producer Grants.
These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save more than 50,000 jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.