East Lansing, Jul 18, 2013 -- Contact:
Anne Todd (202) 720-1021
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Create Jobs and Economic Opportunity in Rural Communities
Cherryland Electric Cooperative Receives $300,000
WASHINGTON, July 18, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of organizations in 11 states for loans and grants to support job creation efforts, business development and strengthen economic growth in rural communities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“These investments will give rural businesses and local organizations more access to capital and new markets, allowing them to expand and increase hiring,” Vilsack said. “Bringing new jobs to rural communities and saving existing ones is a major goal of the Obama administration and USDA.”
The $11.8 million announced today is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG). It provides zero-interest loans and grants to local utilities which then, in turn, re-lends the funds to local businesses (ultimate recipients). The program funds business start-up or expansion, business incubators, education and training facilities and equipment, community development assistance, health care and other community projects that support rural jobs.
Cherryland Electric Cooperative, which serves northern Michigan, received a $300,000 grant to establish a loan fund to help the GT Metro Emergency Services Authority buy a pumper fire truck. The project will create an estimated three jobs.
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 the Department 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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).