Acting State Director Janelle Gustafson announced $1.1 million in loans and grants for 13 projects to help small rural businesses in Montana.
“These funds are part of nearly $20 million USDA has invested in small rural Montana businesses this year,” Gustafson said. “These dollars represent our commitment to supporting and growing Montana’s rural businesses and agriculture industries which in turn, strengthens Montana’s economy and creates jobs.”
USDA is awarding the $1.1 million through the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) program.
For example, Montana Community Development Corporation (MCDC), in Missoula, is receiving $39,403 through the RMAP program to provide technical assistance to rural microentrepreneurs.
Custer County will use a Rural Business Development Grant to assist with the cost of an engineering report for recommended upgrades to the East Valley water system. The improvements will allow area businesses reliant on this system to expand their current facilities as well as attract new small and emerging businesses to Miles City. The $25,000 grant for this project will directly assist two rural small businesses and save 22 jobs.
Sand Creek Winds, LLC, in Wolf Point, will use a $61,000 RBDG grant to complete an environmental assessment for a proposed wind farm in McCone County. This project is expected to create four new jobs.
Two economic development groups will receive $852,000 through the IRP program to establish revolving loan funds to assist businesses in rural Montana communities. The Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) in Hamilton, received a $352,000 IRP loan which they will re-lend to rural small businesses.
USDA Rural Development has a strong track record of strengthening rural businesses and economies through its Rural Business-Cooperative Service, which has helped 85,000 rural businesses nationally since the start of the Obama administration.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.