WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced that the Department is investing $981 million to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs in 47 states, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Rural people provide the everyday essentials our country depends on,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is dedicated to helping people through job creation and expansion of entrepreneurial opportunities in the rural places they live. The partnerships we’re announcing today demonstrate USDA’s commitment to advocating for rural business owners and building brighter futures for everyone in rural America.”
The funding will help keep resources and wealth made by rural people right at home through affordable financing and technical assistance. It will help rural Americans start businesses and allow small business owners to grow. It will also open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing.
- In Alabama, the West Dallas Water Authority will use a $268,000 loan and a $788,000 grant through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantee Program to make improvements to the utility’s water system. These improvements will provide clean and modern water service to 69 homes and one church, removing the need for residents to depend on individual water wells. The improvements will also add fire hydrants, increasing fire protection in the area. This project will benefit 3,488 rural residents in Dallas County.
- In Iowa, Woodbury County REC will use a $1,500,000 loan and a $300,000 grant through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program to construct a new medical clinic for Moville Area Medical Clinic Inc. in Woodbury County. This facility will increase patient access, assist medical professionals in delivering quality healthcare, and promote employment and economic development in this rural area. This investment will also create 12 new jobs.
- In Idaho, Arsiero Air will use a $4,498,000 loan through the Rural Business and Industry Loan Guarantees Program to purchase a K-1200 heavy lifting helicopter to expand their timber harvesting operations. The project will play a critical role in allowing Arsiero Air to access timber in otherwise inaccessible locations, and thereby allowing the completion of new and existing timber harvesting contracts. The project will create 18 new jobs.
USDA is making 242 awards through eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are the Biofuel Producer Relief Payments Program (PDF, 112 KB), Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants program, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.
The awards are being made in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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