Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America
CASPER, Wyo., Feb. 9, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the Department is investing $1.4 billion to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance. Nine Wyoming businesses and organizations received a total of $23.2 million in funding.
“Supporting our rural businesses and agricultural producers is so important,” said Janice Blare, Wyoming Acting State Director. “The recent funds awarded in Wyoming will allow for job creation or retention, while ensuring revenue streams continue. I’m very pleased that we will be helping these vital entities keep the lights on!”
The Department recently invested $20.83 million in five Business & Industry loan guarantees:
- First Interstate Bank provided a loan for the acquisition of an industrial machining and welding business, saving 35 jobs and creating 10 new jobs.
- First National Bank of Gillette provided a loan to a telecommunications company to support its operations and provide additional working capital needs to deploy broadband services.
- First Northern Bank of Wyoming provided a loan to a restaurant to support its operations, including the addition of 3 jobs to its workforce and saving 21 jobs.
- First State Bank of Newcastle provided a loan to construct a hotel which will create 9 jobs.
- Pinnacle Bank of Wyoming provided a loan to a performance and repair shop to purchase vehicle parts and supplies, saving the company 4 jobs.
Three Wyoming agricultural operations received Value-Added Producer Grants totaling $575,000, creating 23 jobs statewide. Grant funds will be used to process, package, advertise and market products, as well as conduct a third-party feasibility study for a new organic processing facility. All grants will increase the customer base and generate additional revenue for the producers.
Central Wyoming College received one of 10 Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grants awarded nationally. The grant will fund the Bootstrap Innovation Center in Riverton, which will focus on industrial clusters specific to Wyoming and Fremont County in particular. These include agriculture/equine, tourism, hospitality, light manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
The funding announced will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout 49 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. And it will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers in nearly every state create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce.
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.
The awards Vilsack announced today are being made in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Under the leadership of 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. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combating the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.