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USDA Announces Grants, Loans For Rural Job Creation

USDA Announces Grants, Loans For Rural Job Creation

Loan program offers funds to local utilities for projects in 11 states

USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino, on behalf of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Thursday announced funding for rural economic development at the National Rural Economic Developers Association meeting in Austin, Texas.

More than 25 projects in 11 states will receive about $11.8 million through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program. It provides zero-interest loans and grants to local utilities which then lend the funds through to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.

Loan program offers funds to local utilities for projects in 11 states

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.

USDA expects the investments to give rural businesses and local organizations more access to capital and new markets, allowing them to expand and increase hiring.

Recipients include:

Illinois: EnerStar Electric Cooperative, $1 million; Access Energy Cooperative, $495,000 loan and $300,000 grant; Access Energy Cooperative, $300,000 grant; Panora Communications Cooperative, $300,000 grant; Interstate 35 Telephone Company, $280,000 grant; and Ogden Municipal Utilities, $300,000 grant.

Michigan: Cherryland Electric Cooperative, $300,000 grant; Steele-Waseca Electric Cooperative, $1 million loan;  and Arrowhead Electric Cooperative Inc., $300,000 grant

Nebraska: City of Gering, $300,000 grant; City of Tecumseh Board of Public Works, $300,000 grant; and City of Gothenburg, $300,000 grant.

North Carolina: Piedmont Electric Membership Cooperative, $300,000 grant; EnergyUnited Electric Membership Cooperative, $1 million loan and $300,000 grant; Four County Electric Membership Corporation, $300,000 grant; French Broad Electric Membership Corporation, $300,000 grant; and Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, $1 million loan.

North Dakota: McLean Electric Cooperative Inc., $300,000 grant; United Telephone Mutual Aid Corporation, $172,318 grant; and Verendrye Electric Cooperative, Inc., $160,000 grant.

Ohio: Midwest Electric Cooperative, Inc., $300,000 grant.

South Carolina: Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, Inc., $1 million loan.

South Dakota: Codington Clark Electric Cooperative, Inc., $300,000 grant; Dakota Energy Cooperative, Inc., $300,000 grant; and Kingsbury Electric Cooperative, Inc., $300,000 grant.

Tennessee: Board of Public Utilities of the Town of Erwin, $375,000 loan

Source: USDA

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