Three Kansas projects are among 12 recipients in nine states to win loans and grants to spur economic development and create or save jobs in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 9.
"This funding will help rural businesses and entrepreneurs obtain the financing they need to thrive, grow and create jobs," Vilsack said. "These grants and loans are part of the Obama Administration's ongoing commitment to ensure that rural communities attract capital investments that lead to business development and job creation."
In Kansas, Midwest Energy, Inc., received a $194,800 grant to help the city of Quinter construct a fire station, Blue Valley Tele-Communications, Inc., got a $50,000 loan; to help Richardson Enterprises, LLC purchase machinery and equipment for a store in Marysville, and Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative, Inc. received a $28,000 loan; to help a firm buy equipment in Hartford.
USDA Rural Development is providing the loans and grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, lend the money to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the utility directly.
The REDLG program has assisted a number of rural communities. For instance, in Trenton, Mo, USDA provided a $740,000 rural economic development loan to Grundy Electric Cooperative to support the North Central Missouri College. North Central, a community college, is using the funds to educate rural Missouri youth on sustainable agricultural practices. It will also upgrade the school's educational facilities.
Funding of each loan or grant announced today is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the agreement.
Other states receiving grants were Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Virginia.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees.