Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2022 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has 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. In rural West Virginia, a total of $7,736,440 is being invested in ten businesses or organizations.
“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,” 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.”
USDA Rural Development West Virginia Acting State Director Alan Harris said, “Rural Development is helping businesses in rural West Virginia in a variety of ways. Through backing a lender with a loan guarantee, to financing a revolving loan fund for small and emerging microbusinesses, to helping small agricultural businesses innovate through value-added activities, we are investing in job creation, economic growth, and prosperity in rural communities.”
In rural West Virginia, a total of six businesses or organizations will receive a total of $7,736,440 as follows:
- USDA Rural Development has provided a Business and Industry Loan Guarantee to Farmers State Bank of Alto Pass in the amount of $6,400,000 to assist Appalachian Hotel Management, LLC. This USDA Rural Development Investment will be used to purchase a La Quinta Inn hotel in Westover. This loan guarantee will contribute 75 percent of the total cost of the project. The loan funds will create 6 jobs and save 15 jobs.
- Woodlands Community Lenders, Inc. has received:
- An Intermediary Relending Program Loan in the amount of $750,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to establish a revolving loan fund in West Virginia. Woodlands Community Lenders, Inc. is a lending institution in the north central region of the state. The funds will be used to make loans to small businesses in three counties: Barbour, Randolph, and Tucker Counties. Approximately 165 jobs will be created and 150 jobs will be saved by this investment.
- A Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Grant in the amount of $62,164. This Rural Development investment will be used to capitalize a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund to make microloans and provide technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Randolph, Barbour and Tucker counties of West Virginia.
- Family Roots Farm, in Wellsburg, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $124,635. This Rural Development investment will be used to expand the customer base and brand packaging for maple syrup and sweet sorghum as well as improve operational efficiency and increase revenue. A $14,000 borrower contribution will be included in the project.
- Yuraction Faction, LLC, in Morgantown, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $50,000. This Rural Development investment will be used to process and market pickled ramps, Bloody Mary mix and ramp burgers. A borrower contribution of $50,000 will be included in the project. It is estimated that two jobs will be created and two jobs will be saved.
- Big Red Matt, LLC, in Wheeling, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $99,981. This Rural Development investment will be used to help Big Red Matt LLC process and market milk, butter, meat cuts of poultry and pork, free range eggs and organic hay.
- Mountain Steer Meat Company, in East Lewisburg, has received a Value-Added Producer Grant in the amount of $249,660. This Rural Development investment will be used to hire a head butcher, butcher assistant, administrative assistant and meat shop assistant. A $27,740 borrower contribution will be included in the project and create four jobs.
The funding announced today 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 touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.