Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 12 recipients in nine states for loans and grants to spur economic development and create or save jobs in rural areas.
"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."
USDA Rural Development is providing the loans and grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) 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. A complete listing of the loan and grant awards follows:
Habersham Electric Membership Corporation, $740,000 loan; to help Habersham and its customers conserve energy and control costs through energy management technology.
Heartland Power Cooperative, $300,000 grant; to help the City of St. Ansgar expand an industrial park and construct an industrial building.
Midwest Energy, Inc., $194,800 grant; to help the city of Quinter construct a fire station.
Blue Valley Tele-Communications, Inc., $50,000 loan; to help Richardson Enterprises, LLC purchase machinery and equipment for a store in Marysville, KS.
Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative, Inc., $28,000 loan; to help a firm buy equipment in Hartford, KS.
Salt River Electric Cooperative Corporation, $214,100 loan; to help Patrimonio Group LLC build and buy equipment for a 6,000-square-foot office and production facility for a company that manufactures custom cabinetry and woodworking primarily for residential markets.
Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation in Lafayette, TN, $205,000 loan; to help a firm in Burkesville, KY, expand a building.
Central Electric Power Association, $300,000 grant; to help the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians renovate a shopping center.
White River Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc., $300,000 grant and $46,000 loan; to help the Taney County Ambulance District build a new ambulance base facility that also will serve as a communications center.
Central Electric Membership Corporation, $500,000 loan and $300,000 grant; to provide financing to the Sanford-Lee County Airport Authority to build a hangar.
KEM Electric Cooperative, Inc., $740,000 loan; to help LaMoure Equipment Inc. construct a new building for a farm equipment dealership in Ashley, ND.
Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, $175,000 loan; to help a glass company purchase equipment and renovate a building.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council -- chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack -- the President wants the federal government to be the best possible partner for rural businesses and entrepreneurs and for people who want to live, work and raise their families in rural communities.
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. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.