Washington, DC, Jun 30, 2011 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of three community-based organizations in California to receive funding to promote economic growth and the selection of a rural microenterprise for loans and grants to support the development and ongoing success of small rural businesses. The organizations will receive more than $1.1 million in loans and grants to support rural business development, create jobs and strengthen local communities throughout the Golden State.
"These funds support USDA's partnership with rural America to bring increased economic opportunity to rural citizens and communities," Vilsack said. "They will serve as investments that will help organizations build the capacity and expertise of local businesses, business owners and nonprofit groups."
The funding announced today is being provided through two USDA programs: the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI) and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). RCDI helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants. The grants are awarded to public or nonprofit intermediary organizations. The funds are then provided to recipients, which must be located in eligible rural areas. Recipients under the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program are development corporations that make loans to microenterprises and microentrepreneurs and provide business-based training and technical assistance grants to rural microborrowers.
Rural Community Development Initiative Program Grant Recipients (RCDI)
• California Coalition for Rural Housing: $175,105 grant will assist 14 organizations build capacity to support sustainable economic and community development in their communities.
• Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NoRTEC): $175,105 grant will provide training on business development to seven organizations in the North State.
• Rural Community Assistance Corporation: $175,105 grant will provide technical assistance to five organizations with strategic planning and identifying potential economic development projects.
Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Award Recipient
• California FarmLink: $500,000 loan and $105,000 grant to provide technical assistance and services that promote family farming, preserve farmland, and promote techniques and disseminate information that facilitates intergenerational farm transitions in Sebastopol.
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 existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in 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. To better coordinate Federal programs and maximize the impact of Federal investment, President Obama signed an Executive Order on June 9, 2011 creating the White House Rural Council that will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack serves as chair of the Council.
Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ca for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.
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, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).