Washington, Sep 18, 2013 -- The White House Rural Council met today with officials from economic development districts, county governments and non-profit organizations to discuss ways to replicate successful regional economic development strategies.
"Innovative regional development can work especially well in rural areas because it helps communities share resources across boundaries such as county and state lines," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "By focusing on one or a few common sectors, regional development can produce greater economic returns."
The forum at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the second on regional economic development. The first was held in June 2012. Vilsack, who chairs the White House Rural Council, delivered the keynote address at this today's forum.
The White House Rural Council coordinates the Obama Administration's efforts in rural America by improving the effectiveness of federal programs. It works with public and private-sector partners on new ways to solve problems.
During today's forum, Vilsack announced the selection of 186 projects for USDA Rural Development loans and grants to support economic development in rural communities, including two projects benefiting Native American business development in Washington State. The funding is being provided through the Community Facilities program, the Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.
In funding announced today, the Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF), which is operated by the Colville Tribe, will receive a $44,540 Rural Business Opportunity Grant Business to help develop a Regional Native Business Network with a “Buy Local” component within the Colville and Spokane Reservations in Northeast Washington. The network will promote and support Native American businesses in the region.
The Chehalis Tribe Loan Fund will received a $500,000 loan through the the Intermediary Relending Program financing business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities.
“This assistance will provide much needed technical support and access to capital for rural small businesses in Washington State, this remains a priority for USDA,” said Tuana Jones, USDA Rural Development Business Program Director.
Funding for each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
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 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)