Lincoln, Nebraska, Jan 23, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in rural businesses to help create jobs and spur economic development.
Nebraska Central Telephone Company at Gibbon is receiving a Rural Economic Development Loan of $798,000. This project will loan funds to Popcorn County USA at North Loup, Nebraska for the construction of a modernized popcorn processing facility to replace the out dated facility. The funding will help the business meet industry requirements while providing the opportunity for expanded production volume and in-house processing. The project will save 11 full time equivalent jobs as a direct result of the project, in a community of 297 in population. The REDL will be leveraged with $4,602,000 in other funding.
Also, Alliance, Nebraska, will benefit from a transportation grant to assist Senior Services, Inc., of Alliance in expanding and improving transit services. The Community Transportation Association of America, Inc. (CTAA) has been selected for a $464,556 grant to establish transportation systems in Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The CTAA award is one of four Rural Business Enterprise Grants announced by Vilsack – two to provide technical assistance to help establish rural transportation systems and two to purchase equipment and for infrastructure.
“These investments will help businesses expand, help rural communities grow their economies and help support the community-based development goals of the Obama administration,” Vilsack said. “USDA is providing loans and grants to our local partners who can leverage this money with funds from other sources for projects that will have broad economic impacts.”
Through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, USDA provides zero-interest loans to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. These revolving loan funds broaden the program’s reach and create a multiplier effect for its impact.
In addition to the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, other USDA programs help rural businesses. In Fiscal Year 2013, which ended September 30, USDA supported 26 organizations with more than $17 million for revolving loans through the Intermediary Relending Program. Additionally, USDA Rural Development provided nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees through the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program to improve, develop or finance businesses in rural communities.
In total, Vilsack announced today $17.6 million in loans and grants for projects in 15 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.
View the full list of recipients for Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants and Rural Business Enterprise Grants. Each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
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