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USDA Invests Nearly $12 Million in Coconino County Project As Part of $770 Million Announcement to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and People

Name
Jamie Welch Jaro
Phone
City
Phoenix, AZ
Release Date
May 24, 2022

PHOENIX, May 24, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $770 million to help create new and better market opportunities for rural businesses and people in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The investments include $640 million for 122 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities. This announcement includes a $11.7 million investment for a northern Arizona project.

“The economic success of rural America has long been the bedrock of our Nation’s economy as a whole,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is prioritizing investment in jobs, businesses, and entrepreneurial opportunities in rural America. The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate how USDA remains committed to helping people in rural America create new and better market opportunities for our country.

“The great thing about investments such as these is USDA continues to make them year-round,” said Charlene Fernandez, Arizona State Director for USDA Rural Development. “We know that each community in rural Arizona has a unique economic makeup and we’re committed to meeting our partners where they are and when they need us as they grow and expand.” 

In Page, Arizona, Lake Powell Hotel, through their lender Rock Canyon Bank, will use the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program to purchase a hotel in the highly visited Lake Powell area. This investment supports job growth and economic stability for the area which received 3.1 million visitors last year.

Nationwide, the funding will help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance. 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. It will also help entrepreneurs and business cooperatives create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce.

Background:

USDA is making 154 investments through three programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

 USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In 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.

Under 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/az.