Johanns Announces $19.25 Million in Loans and Grants for Rural Businesses
Washington- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the award of $19.25 million to create or retain jobs at rural businesses.
“These funds will help local communities finance business expansions, implement economic development plans and make infrastructure improvements to ensure rural areas remain attractive, economically viable places to live and work,” said Johanns. “The funding announced today is expected to help create or save more than 1,000 jobs in 23 states.”
The funds are being provided through the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program. Funding in the relending program is given to intermediaries, such as community development or regional planning groups, who then re-lend the funds to local businesses. The loans must be used to start new businesses, expand existing ones, or create or retain jobs. The economic development program provides funds to support job retention or job creation efforts in rural communities. Efforts are made to help designated rural communities address constraints in economic activity and growth, stagnant or declining employment, and isolation that has led to disconnection from markets, suppliers and centers of information and finance.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. Rural Development has invested more than $76.8 billion since the beginning of the Bush Administration to provide equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. As a result, more than 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.
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