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Rural Iowa gets $4.9 million USDA boost

By Staff | Sep 12, 2015

DES MOINES – (USDA-RD) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced July 29, funding for loans and grants for 92 projects worth $18.1 million to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. These funds are part of more than 20,000 grants and loans to more than 85,000 rural businesses the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has awarded since the start of the Obama administration.

“I am proud of the work USDA has done to help small businesses grow in rural America because they are the engine that creates jobs,” Vilsack said. “These funds will allow small and emerging businesses and the organizations that support them to get the financing they need to strengthen their operations, create jobs and expand economic opportunities.

Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, we can continue this work in a more streamlined and efficient way to benefit small businesses and the American taxpayer.”

USDA is awarding the funds through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, the Intermediary Relending Program and the Rural Business Development Grant program.

USDA provides grants or zero-interest loans through the REDLG program to utilities that in turn fund projects to create and retain employment in rural areas.

Vilsack announced $11.7 million in REDLG loans and grants for 18 recipients.

Projects in Iowa include:

  • Central Iowa Power Cooperative – $2,000,000 loan to expand Co-Line Welding.
  • Orange City Municipal Electric Utility – $1,760,000 loan to help Orange City Area Health Foundation expand its retirement community.
  • Western Iowa Power Cooperative – $250,000 grant to help Burgess Health Center construct a medically oriented gym.
  • Minburn Telephone Company – $300,000 grant to create a revolving loan fund.
  • North West Rural Electric Cooperative – $300,000 grant to renovate Hawarden Community Hospital.
  • City of Pocahontas – $300,000 grant for Pocahontas Community Hospital’s expansion and renovation.

The funding for the awardees is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements.

USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,400 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 50 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

For more information regarding finance programs contact the USDA Rural Development office at (515) 284-4663.


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