Release No. 0433.10
Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384
USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Tonsager Announces Recipients of Rural Business Enterprise Grants
USDA Support Will Help Create Jobs and Economic Opportunity in Rural Areas
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2010 – USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager today announced that 45 states, the Western Pacific region and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico will benefit from funding made available under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program (RBEG).
“The funding announced today represents the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to create economic and job opportunities in rural areas by ensuring that strategic investments are made in our small towns and cities,” Tonsager said “Rural businesses drive community revitalization by providing products and services to local residents as well as throughout the country and world. Projects like these spur important economic development and strengthen communities across the nation.”
For example, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in Laurel, Ky., has been selected to receive a $499,000 grant. This funding will be used to establish a revolving loan fund for small and emerging businesses located in a 14-county service area. This proposed project is expected to create 52 and retain 10 jobs in the area.
In Cass, Iowa, the Southwest Iowa Planning Council has been selected to receive a $95,000 grant. The funding will be used to establish a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private businesses in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Montgomery, Page and Shelby counties. This project is expected to save or create 11 jobs. In both projects, the revolving loan funds bring important access to capital to lend to rural small businesses.
The RBEG program helps to finance and facilitate the development of new and existing businesses in rural America. Funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.
More information about this program is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html
Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement, and is not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The following is a complete list of organizations that have been selected to receive RBEG grants. A total of 61 awards were announced.
* Windustry – $275,000 grant to help provide assistance to facilitate wind development projects.
* Northwest Minnesota Foundation – $99,000 grant to provide technical assistance to small and emerging private business enterprises. Initial financing actions are expected to result in 39 jobs being created and/or retained.
* City of Baudette – $99,999 grant to capitalize a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private business enterprises. Initial financing actions are expected to result in eight jobs being created and/or retained.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation’s capital and 500 state and local offices. 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. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.