Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program in Florida

PROGRAM STATUS: Open


What does this program do?
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly. The utility then is responsible for repayment to USDA.
 
USDA provides grants to local utility organizations which use the funding to establish Revolving Loan Funds (RLF). Loans are made from the revolving loan funds to projects that will create or retain rural jobs. When the revolving loan fund is terminated, the grant is repaid to USDA.
 
Who may apply to this program?
To receive funding (which will be forwarded to selected eligible projects), an entity must be:
  • A former Rural Utilities Service borrower who borrowed, repaid or pre-paid an insured, direct or guaranteed loan.
  • Nonprofit utilities that are eligible to receive assistance from the Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication Programs.
  • Current Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication Programs borrowers.
What is an eligible area?
Intermediaries may use funds to lend for projects in rural areas or towns with a population of fewer than 50,000 residents. 
How much funding is available to local utilities?
  • Up to $300,000 in grants may be requested to establish the Revolving Loan Funds.
  • Up to 10 percent of grant funds may be applied toward operating expenses over the life of the Revolving Loan Fund.
  • Up to $1 million in loans may be requested.
 
The local utility applies to USDA for funding support on behalf of specified local projects. Projects may begin after an application is submitted, but there is no guarantee of approval. USDA funds are issued to the local utility at project completion.
 
What are the terms for the local utility?
  • 10 years at 0 percent interest.
  • Grants require a 20 percent match from the local utility.
  • Grants must be repaid to USDA upon termination of the Revolving Loan Fund.
How may funds be used?
The local utility passes the funding to ultimate recipients for such eligible projects as:
  • Business incubators.
  • Community development assistance to nonprofits and public bodies (particularly for job creation or enhancement).
  • Facilities and equipment to educate and train rural residents to facilitate economic development.
  • Facilities and equipment for medical care for rural residents.
  • Start-up venture costs, including, but not limited to, financing fixed assets such as real estate, buildings, equipment or working capital.
  • Business expansion.
  • Technical assistance.
 
NOTE: 7 CFR, Part 4280.27 and 7 CFR, Part 4280.30 list ineligible uses.
 
How much funding is available to business and community borrowers (the ultimate recipients) through the Revolving Loan Fund?
An ultimate recipient may request up to 80 percent of project costs using these funds, with the remainder provided by the ultimate recipient or the local utility.
 
What are the terms on the loan to the ultimate recipient?
  • The interest rate is 0 percent.
  • Up to 80 percent of project costs; 20 percent must be provided by the ultimate recipient or the local utility.
  • The local utility may incorporate interest rates or administrative loan fees after the funds have been loaned out and revolved once. First-time loans are at 0 percent interest.
  • Repayment may be deferred up to two years for projects including a start-up venture or Community Facilities project.
How do we get started?
Applications for this program are accepted through your local office year-round. You should work with your local office to acquire the documents needed to submit an application.
 
Who can answer questions?
Contact your local office.
 
What law governs this program?
  • Basic Program – Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR, Part 4280.
  • Loan/Grant Servicing – Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR, Part 4280 and 2 CFR Part 200.
  • This program is authorized by the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
Rural Development undertakes this program in order to promote rural economic development and job creation projects.
 
NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change, please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled “What law governs this program?” You may also contact your local office for assistance.
 
 

 

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information and speak to a Business Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.

You may also access the Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR, Part 4280.

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

There are currently no events scheduled.

Most loans and grants are originated and/or serviced in the Area Office. Please contact the Area Office that services your County or Town. See our: Florida County Map.
Please contact the USVI St. Croix Office for all of the USVI.

CRESTVIEW AREA OFFICE
3070 Adora Teal Way, Suite C
Crestview, Florida 32539
Telephone: (850) 682-2416
Fax: (855) 473-8755
Counties Served: Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton

MARIANNA AREA OFFICE
2741 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 5
Marianna, Florida 32448
Telephone: (850) 526-2610
Fax: (855) 474-6969
Counties Served: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington

LAKE CITY AREA OFFICE
971 W Duval St, Suite 190
Lake City, Florida 32055-3736
Phone: (386) 719-5590
Fax: (855) 474-6983
Counties Served: Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Nassau, Suwannee, St. Johns, Taylor, and Union.

OCALA AREA OFFICE
2441 NE 3rd Street, Suite 204-1
Ocala, Florida 34470
Telephone: (352) 732-7534
Fax: (855) 474-6990

Counties Served: Alachua, Citrus, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia

CHAMPIONS GATE AREA OFFICE
8390 Champions Gate Blvd
Suite 210
Champions Gate, FL  33896
Telephone: (863)-420-4833
Fax: (855)-474-8230

Counties Served: Brevard, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, and Polk

ROYAL PALM BEACH AREA OFFICE **(see Sub Office information)
420 South State Road 7, Suite 166
Royal Palm Beach, Florida 33414-4306
Phone: (561) 792-2727
Fax: (855) 475-4827

**N. Ft. Myers (Sub Office of Royal Palm Beach)
3434 Hancock Bridge Pkwy., Suite 209-A
N. Ft. Myers, Florida 33903-7005
Telephone: (239) 997-7331
FAX: (855) 475-8043

Counties Served from Royal Palm Beach and North Fort Myers: Broward, Dade, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Martin, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota.

ST. CROIX US Virgin Islands AREA OFFICE
4401 Sion Farm, Ste. #2
Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820
Phone: (340) 773-9146
FAX: (855) 475-6940

Locations Served: St. Croix, St. John & St. Thomas, VI