WASHINGTON, May 24, 2022 – US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the Department is investing $770 million to help create new and better market opportunities (PDF, 366 KB) for rural businesses and people in 36 states and create Puerto Rico. Investments include $640 million for 122 projects to help people living in vulnerable communities.
“The economic prosperity of rural America has long been the bedrock of our nation’s economy as a whole,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, the USDA is prioritizing investment in jobs, businesses and entrepreneurial opportunities in rural America. The investments we are announcing today demonstrate USDA’s continued commitment to helping people in rural America create new and better market opportunities for our country.”
Funding will help a diverse rural America keep resources and prosperity through job training, business expansion and technical assistance right at home. It will help companies hire more people and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who have not had access to critical resources and finance in the past. It will also help entrepreneurs and business cooperatives create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the products they make.
- In New York, 88 Ridge Royale LLC will use a $3.5 million loan to modernize the historic Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls. The funds will be used to build a 5,800-square-foot ballroom for 400 guests with its own banquet kitchen. This investment will create 25 new jobs and support 80 existing jobs in Glens Falls.
- In Nebraska, the City of Cozad will use a $300,000 rural economy development grant to modernize a pharmacy. Modernizations will expand the pharmacy department, add security measures and install new ventilation hoods. These improvements will improve rural healthcare for approximately 4,000 people in the Cozad region.
- In South Carolina, Clemson University will use a $99,992 grant from the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to support the South Carolina Center for Cooperative and Enterprise Development in providing technical assistance to microentrepreneurs. The funding is expected to help at least 50 rural businesses access finance and receive financial management guidance.
The USDA makes 154 investments through three programs designed specifically to create economic opportunity for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Scheme, the Rural Economy Development Loan and Grant Schemes and the Rural Microentrepreneur Support Scheme.
The awards are presented in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico , New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans in so many positive ways every day. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the American food system with a stronger focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, and building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers who adopt climate-friendly food and forestry practices, make historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in rural America, and advocate for justice across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce , which is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Under the Biden-Harris administration, rural development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunity, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of rural Americans. This aid supports infrastructure improvements; Business development; Housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit www.rd.usda.gov for more information.
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