USDA Rural Development invites applications for rural economic development funding
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Chuck Banks announced Jan. 12 that USDA is accepting applications for $45.8 million in loans and grants to support rural communities and spur economic development through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program.
State Director Banks commented, "These business development funds will support local efforts to bring added economic growth and employment opportunities to rural Kansas. USDA Rural Development will continue to work vigorously with our state's rural utility cooperatives to support local efforts in bringing new business investment to their communities. I would like to thank the rural utility cooperatives for their continued participation in this excellent program that assists rural Kansas. This program is good for our communities, it is good for the Kansas economy, and it is good for rural Kansans working to create a better life".
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides no-interest loans to Rural Development utility program borrowers, which in turn re-lend the money to local entities to promote economic development and job creation.
Applications must be received by March 31 for 3rd quarter funding and June 30 for 4th quarter funding. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the December 29, 2008, Federal Register, page 79438.
Over the past five years, USDA Rural Development in Kansas has been a leading state in delivering economic development assistance through the Agency's Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program. In fact, since 1998, the program has assisted at least 91 businesses, created and saved over 2,100 jobs, and provided over $31 million in loans and grants across rural Kansas. Under USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program, the Agency will make a zero-interest loan to the local rural utility cooperative.
Upon receipt of the loan proceeds, following execution of loan documentation and meeting the conditions of the Program, the cooperative will then pass the loan proceeds on to the local applicant to finance job creation efforts. Funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including community facilities and infrastructure, improving access to local medical care and other projects that encourage a favorable climate for job creation and economic growth.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs that support increasing economic opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for rural Americans. As a venture capital entity, USDA Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure in rural America. Since 2001, USDA Rural Development has delivered over $1.5 billion for Kansas covering all Agency programs, supporting well over $7 billion in future economic development for the Sunflower State.
For additional information regarding USDA Rural Development and its programs, log onto the Agency's website at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ks or call the Agency's state office at 785-271-2700.