United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson announced this week that USDA is investing $14 million in rural economic development projects in 10 states.
“When we invest in infrastructure, we’re investing in the people of rural America to help create thriving communities where they can grow and prosper. These loans and grants will help rural communities build back better and support job creation,” Maxson said. “Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary Vilsack, USDA is working tirelessly to be a strong advocate for and investor in infrastructure and economic development in rural communities across the country.”
USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Through the program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities. The utilities then lend funds to local businesses for projects that create and retain employment in rural areas. Eligible applicants are USDA’s Electric Program and Telecom Program borrowers.
The announcement includes investments in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Below are some of the ways the REDLG program is creating opportunities in America’s rural communities.
In Ohio, Midwest Electric Inc. is receiving a $300,000 grant to help Mercer Community Land Development LLC. Mercer will improve roads and the sanitary, stormwater and sewer systems at the Marion Township Industrial Park. Mercer also will add 24 lots at the park.
In Missouri, White River Valley Electric Cooperative will use a $1 million loan to help the Gainesville R-V School District construct a storm shelter and renovate facilities. The school district offers vocational opportunities in business, agriculture, auto mechanics and certified nursing assistant programs.
The Johnson City Energy Authority will use a $1 million loan to help the Integrated Marketing Company purchase and renovate a manufacturing facility in Chuckey, Tenn. This project will help the company take on additional clients to grow the business and increase economic output in the region.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.