Lexington, Kentucky, Jul 08, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas G. Fern has announced the approval of a $100,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) for Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation to help rural businesses in southeast Kentucky with creating jobs and spurring economic growth. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.
“Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation has a strong track record for assisting rural Kentucky entrepreneurs with starting or expanding local businesses. They play a vital role in creating jobs and spurring economic development,” said Fern. “USDA is pleased to be a financial partner in this effort.”
USDA Rural Development funds will be used to recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund established by Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The funding will allow for the continued promotion of the development and expansion of their economic base of small, rural communities within their 22-county service area by investing in community economic development projects.
USDA has several initiatives underway to support small businesses and the communities they serve. Altogether, USDA business and cooperative development programs have had a significant impact on rural communities – achieving record results under President Obama. Since 2009, USDA has provided more than 15,000 loans and grants through its business programs, helping more than 60,000 rural small businesses. For more information on USDA's business and cooperative development programs, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Business.html.
The funding announced today under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program will help support the Obama Administration's vision by providing rural communities with resources to support small businesses, improve public facilities, and create new, sustainable jobs. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant.
President Obama's plan to revitalize the rural economy has brought about historic investment over the past four years – including in America's small towns and rural communities. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.