PORTLAND, OR, Sep 14, 2011 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding through USDA Rural Development to help producers and development organizations promote job creation and business development across the country.
“The Obama Administration and USDA are committed to helping rural small businesses grow, and to providing the technical support needed to spark sustainable job creation,” Vilsack said. “The funds being provided today will foster an environment to create jobs in every part of the country.”
Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), a nonprofit that supports job creation and business development in the Columbia Gorge region, was among the recipients announced today. Through the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), USDA Rural Development will provide MCEDD with a $200,000 loan. MCEDD will, in turn, use the funds to provide low-interest loans to as many as 11 Sherman County, Oregon, businesses and startups unable to qualify for affordable commercial credit. The effort, which targets industrial development and tourism, will leverage $50,000 contributed through the county as well as funding available through MCEDD’s existing relending program.
In another effort, Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) will receive $80,000 through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to increase the competitiveness of nursery operations across the region. The RBEG grant, along with $126,000 in OAN monies, will fund Project Green Sleeves, a pilot effort to conduct energy audits and plan efficiency measures with an initial 25 nurseries that commit to a 25-percent reduction in energy use over 10 years. OAN will then develop, evaluate and share effective energy strategies that save money and create jobs with nurseries across the region.
In all, 69 recipients of more than $14.7 million were announced today to promote economic development efforts across the country through IRP and RBEG. For a complete listing of the awards, click here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/RD-RBEG-IRPAwardsAugust2011.pdf
The RBEG and IRP programs are key components of USDA Rural Development activities to promote regional development across America. IRP provides working capital and other support to local businesses through qualified intermediaries. RBEG supports targeted technical assistance, training and other activities to support the development of small, private business enterprises in rural areas. Both programs are administered through the five USDA Rural Development offices serving Oregon. Additional information and contacts can be found online at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ORbcp.html.
On September 8, President Obama presented the American Jobs Act in an address to Congress. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. The American Jobs Act is specific, it will put people back to work right now and it won’t add to the deficit. Through a combination of direct spending, such as infrastructure investments, and tax relief, such as an extension of the payroll tax cuts, it will lead to new American jobs.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America’s rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically
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 $155 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.