USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced $12.5 million in loans and grants for 39 projects that will help rural businesses in 21 states and Puerto Rico.
"Supporting small, rural businesses helps create jobs and helps promote entrepreneurship," Vilsack said. "USDA Rural Development's field structure enables our community-based staff to engage with local partners and, in turn, enables these partners to provide their local small businesses and start-ups access to the capital and technical assistance they need to be competitive in today's global economy."
Supported projects include:
• The Norris Electric Cooperative in Newton, Ill., will receive a $102,845 Rural Economic Development loan to finance the construction of an office and warehouse for a seed and chemical sales business. Building the 9,600-square-foot facility will enable the business to begin hiring now and plan for future job creation over the next five years.
• Community Works, Inc. in Greenville, S.C., will receive a $400,000 RMAP loan and a $100,000 RMAP grant to capitalize a microloan revolving fund, and to provide technical assistance to microentrepreneurs.
• Sixteen economic development groups will receive $8.4 million through the IRP program to capitalize low-interest loan funds for business projects in rural communities.
Previous awards have helped 85,000 rural businesses since the start of the Obama administration.
One example is the Hancock County Senior Services Association's $1 million Rural Economic Development loan, $300,000 Rural Economic Development grant and $2.2 million Community Facilities loan that financed an assisted-living facility that houses residents in small groups to provide a more home-like setting.
Under the Obama administration, USDA says these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to strengthen America's economy.
View all of the Economic Development Funding awardees for Oct. 19 on the USDA website.