NASHVILLE, Dec 06, 2012 -- As more and more citizens reach retirement age and begin their transition from working to enjoying, more and more communities are recognizing the impact these individuals can have in their local economies. Retire Tennessee works to promote rural areas across the state as a place for these retirees to settle and through a partnership with USDA Rural Development (RD), the program is bringing industry leaders to these areas.
RD State Director Bobby Goode joined Retire Tennessee Program Director Ramay Winchester and other local leaders to announce the results of a federal grant that helped bring results driven leaders from 11 surrounding states into Tennessee for a conference focused on the program. The conference covered topics such as reinventing communities to meet the changing demographic needs and how retirees are leading the housing recovery.
"Retirees bring a lot to the communities where they settle. They buy homes, pay taxes and increase the demand for many goods and services, which in turn creates good jobs," said Goode. "Just as valuable, they also bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, resources that money can't buy."
The American Association of Retirement Communities is a not-for-profit professional association, established in 1994 for the purpose of promoting the economic enhancement of communities and development through retiree attraction as an economic development strategy. The counties across the state that participate in the program include Cumberland, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Loudon, Maury, Putnam, Roane, Robertson, Sullivan, Warren and White.
"This organization is an excellent first step in learning the how-tos of attracting retirees to the state," said Winchester. "Tennessee is quickly becoming recognized as a retirement destination."
Rural Development business programs 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 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, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in northwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Union City at 731-885-6480 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1497 or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.