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USDA Invests $22.7 Million to Support Local Businesses and Cooperatives, Create Good-Paying Jobs and Strengthen the Economy in Rural America

Name
Amy Mund
Phone
City
Denver
Release Date
Feb 03, 2022

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Colorado State Director Armando Valdez announced the Department is investing $22,700,000 to help rural Colorado keep resources and build wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.

The programs we’re highlighting today are part of a suite of business and cooperative services including the USDA RD Business and Industry (B& I) Guarantees Loan and the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Programs.

The funding announced will directly help people in rural communities, hire more workers, and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities and help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce.

 “For some time, rural America has been at the mercy of an extraction economy, where resources are taken from rural lands only to create jobs and economic opportunity in urban and suburban areas. USDA is committed to investing in rural communities to change that extraction economy into a circular economy, where value is added closer to home, so the wealth created in rural areas remains in rural areas,” said Valdez.

As part of Colorado’s Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees program, $22,500,000 was invested for three projects. “The B&I program is an important resource to improve the economic health of our rural communities by increasing access to business capital through loan guarantees. By partnering with USDA Rural Development in this program, commercial lenders can provide affordable financing for rural businesses as seen here today. This program encourages lending in rural communities and supports lenders who actively want to do business in rural Colorado,” said Valdez. The projects awarded in Colorado are:

•U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union assisted a local sports park complex.

•U.S. Federal Credit Union assisted a road striping company.

•West Town Bank & Trust assisted a local entity with the purchase of land and a warehouse for commercial use.

As part of Colorado’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program, the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union received a $200,000 grant to for cooperative development and related services to rural communities in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.  The assistance provided will include creating new cooperatives, developing business plans and other specialized trainings.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA 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 in Colorado, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.