Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 2, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Utah Acting State Director, Debra Meyer today announced the Department is investing $2.75 million to help rural Utah keep resources and wealth close to home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.
“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,” United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “That’s why USDA is committed to doing what we can to change that extraction economy into a circular economy, where value is added closer to home, so the wealth created in rural areas stays in rural areas. Today’s announcement underlines the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping transform the economy and bring high-paying jobs and economic opportunities to the people who need it most.”
Meyer adds, the funding announced today will enhance local Utah businesses in reaching new customers, markets, create jobs, provide fresh local produce to neighboring states, and money going back into the local economy. When people in rural Utah thrive, we all reap the benefits.
- In Moab, S3R, LLC will use a $2,500,000 Business and Industry Loan to acquisition the Virginian Inn. The acquisition will benefit the community by providing long-term financing to this rural small business and will encourage tourism by providing lodging for travelers.
- In Brigham City, Partner Farms, LLC will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to surrounding states that do not otherwise have access. This project is being marketed as “locally grown” and has routes and locations established through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana during harvest seasons to provide a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to these communities. Covering a 400 mile radius from the farm to the end consumer. These funds will provide the producers with more available products that bring higher returns.
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.