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USDA RD Invests $16.5 Million to Support Local Businesses, Create Good-Paying Jobs and Strengthen the Economy in Rural Idaho

Jamie Welch-Jaro
Release Date

Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America


BOISE, Feb. 4, 2022 – – USDA Rural Development (RD) State Director Rudy Soto today announced the Department is investing $16.5 million to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance in Idaho.   

“For a while until now, rural Idaho hasn’t always been at the front of the line when it comes to receiving the help it needs to grow economically and to create good paying jobs for people in areas who need it most,” Soto said.  “These significant USDA investments throughout Idaho will serve as a major boost to help companies hire more workers and create opportunities for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farmers so they can create lasting wealth that stays in our rural communities.”

The investments announced today will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers as well as 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.

The funding announced for Idaho totaled $16.5 million in the form of loans and grants through RD are for 17 projects throughout the state.  For example:

Moscow – Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee program.  Palouse Ice Rink has been in the Moscow community for over 20 years and averages 35,000 patrons per year.  In partnership with Idaho Central Credit Union, this $1,500,000 B&I loan guarantee project will give them a full-size ice rink and locker rooms for the first time in their history, allowing them to grow to the next level of community impact with the ability to host tournaments for hockey, figure skating, etc. as well as expand their Science on Ice education program. This funding announced provides just over a quarter of the total project cost.  It is strong support from the community that makes up the remainder of the financing, including grants and capital campaign fundraising efforts.  This project will have multiple benefits to community users along with other businesses in the rural area.

Lewiston – Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA), Inc. was provided a $58,720 grant through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) to continue to administer a technical assistance program through which CEDA provides critical business planning, marketing, management, and financials like bookkeeping assistance to local businesses.  This has been a very effective partnership with CEDA and benefits the rural community.

Twin Falls – Region IV Development Association, Inc. The purpose of the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) is to provide critical access to capital to rural businesses through the establishment of a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program to relend funds to rural businesses.  Through this IRP award, we provided a $1,000,000 loan to RIVDA to re-capitalize RIVDA’s RLF program.  This is a subsequent loan to RIVDA to provide additional capital for rural businesses in response to great demand and strong success by RIVDA in achieving the goals for the IRP program.

Rexburg – East-Central Idaho Planning & Development Association, Inc. (ECIPDA). Through the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) program, RD provide grants to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The RISE Grant Program meets a recognized need for federal support of jobs accelerator partnerships for the promotion of private investment in regional economies. The RISE grant of $1,247,312 to ECIPDA is to provide a portion of project funding to facilitate the construction of an Innovation Center to provide, in partnership with the College of Eastern Idaho, a place for the planning and creation of new ideas and opportunities for individual and group collaboration that leads to supporting deployment of innovative processes, technologies, services and products for economic development, with the purpose of facilitating jobs accelerator programs.

These awards announced are in programs that include 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 RISE Grants, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, RMAP, 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.

Today’s investments are part of a national announcement in which USDA announced a total investment of $1.4 billion for projects nationwide that will support rural economies.

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/id. 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.



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