USDA Announces Investments in Businesses and Rural Economic Development

Mon, 27 Jan 2014

US - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in rural businesses to help create jobs and spur economic development.

"These investments will help businesses expand, help rural communities grow their economies and help support the community-based development goals of the Obama administration," Vilsack said. "USDA is providing loans and grants to our local partners who can leverage this money with funds from other sources for projects that will have broad economic impacts.

The funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Under this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. These revolving loan funds broaden the program's reach and create a multiplier effect for its impact.

In Asheboro, N.C., USDA is awarding a $1.84 million loan and $300,000 grant to the Randolph Electric Membership Corporation to help the Town of Troy construct an industrial building that will be leased to a food manufacturing company. The project will help the town further develop an industrial park, creating an expected 300 jobs.

The Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corp. in Carthage, Tenn., has been selected for a $1.3 million loan to help Carthage Assisted Living, LLC renovate the former Carthage General Hospital into a 43-bed assisted-living facility. The new facility will have 20 studio apartments, 21 one-bedroom apartments, and one two-bedroom apartment. Currently there are no assisted-living facilities in the county, so families with elderly members must travel to Wilson, Putnam or Macon counties for this service. The project is expected to create 20 health care and related jobs during the next three years.

In addition to the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, other USDA programs help rural businesses. In Fiscal Year 2013, which ended September 30, USDA supported 26 organizations with more than $17 million for revolving loans through the Intermediary Relending Program. Additionally, USDA Rural Development provided nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees through the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program to improve, develop or finance businesses in rural communities.

View the full list of recipients for Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants and Rural Business Enterprise Grants. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.