$13 Million Will Create Or Save 3,000 Rural Jobs
The selection of 35 loan and grant recipients in 18 states to receive $16.3 million in rural business development funds has been announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Over $11.6 million in Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants (REDLGs) will be awarded through USDA Rural Development to electric and telecommunications cooperative organizations, which in turn provide loans and grants to support local economic or community development efforts. The loans and grants will support economic and community development and assist in the creation or saving of over 3,000 rural jobs as part of the Bush Administration’s ongoing efforts to spur economic development in rural areas.
Funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including community facilities and infrastructure, improving access to local medical care and other projects that encourage a favorable climate for jobs and growth. For instance, in a $400,000 loan to Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc. in WaKeeney, Kansas will help Trego County Hospital construct a medical office building, six units of assisted living and make other improvements to the hospital.
An additional $3.4 million in loan funds will be used to assist local re-lending intermediaries establish or expand revolving loan funds to support business development or expansions. Grants totaling $1 million will be made available to local public broadcasting stations for educating viewers on rural matters.
In conjunction with the announcement USDA signed a $1 billion guarantee note with a lender who will pay an annual fee for the federal guarantee, a portion of which will be available for the REDLG program. The signing of the guarantee will provide an estimated $52 million in funding for the REDLG program.
Funding of selected applicants will be contingent upon meeting the conditions of the loan and/or grant agreement.