Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $12.5 million in loans and grants for 39 projects that will help rural businesses in 21 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“Supporting small, rural businesses helps create jobs and helps promote entrepreneurship,” Vilsack said. “USDA Rural Development’s field structure enables our community-based staff to engage with local partners and, in turn, enables these partners to provide their local small businesses and start-ups access to the capital and technical assistance they need to be competitive in today’s global economy.”
USDA is awarding $12.5 million in loans and grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) program.
Sixteen economic development groups will receive $8.4 million through the IRP program to capitalize low-interest loan funds for business projects in rural communities.
Funding of each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
USDA Rural Development has a strong track record of strengthening rural businesses and economies through its Rural Business-Cooperative Service, which has helped 85,000 rural businesses.