USDA is providing $62.5 million in loans and grants for 705 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 45 states and Puerto Rico. According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack the funds will help rural businesses become more energy efficient. The funds are made available through the Rural Energy for America Program.
Also, 58 recipients have been selected to receive $8 million in grants through the USDA's Rural Business Enterprise Grant program. The purpose of this program is to finance development of small and emerging rural business. Recipients are in rural communities in 41 states, the Territory of Puerto Rico and the Western Pacific.
The grants may be used for project planning, land acquisition and development, transportation and infrastructure improvements; renovation or construction, equipment purchases, establishment of working capital or revolving loan funds, adult job training and technical assistance.
In addition, USDA has selected 23 recipients to receive more than $4 million dollars in grants to spur economic development in Native American communities. As part of this announcement, the Community Transportation Association of America has also been selected to receive $750,000 in grants to help organizations in four states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, these Native American communities will receive funding for business and job creation and to repair, improve, or build passenger transit systems.