JACKSON, Tenn, Oct 28, 2010 -- USDA Rural Development Area Director Arlisa Armstrong and Southwest Tennessee Development District Executive Director Joe Barker have announced a federal investment in the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI) to improve the economic environment for businesses and workers in southwest Tennessee. The announcement was made during the association's annual meeting at Pickwick State Park.
The Rural Development grant of $50,000 will help fund REDI’s ongoing work to increase the number of high school students graduating and continuing their education. "Small business is the economic engine of rural communities, creating jobs and helping maintain a healthy, diversified local economy," said Armstrong.
She said, "REDI's work is making it easier for businesses to find the qualified workers they need so these jobs stay and grow in the communities where they start,"
Rural Development business grants help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders to increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. With supplemental funding through the Recovery Act, the agency assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses with more than $1.3 billion in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants. More than 86 percent of these investments will be paid back with interest. The rest is at work creating jobs, broadening the local tax base and increasing opportunities in education, training, healthcare and public safety.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in southwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Jackson at 731-668-2091 ext. 2, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1495 or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397