USDA INVESTS $5.7 MILLION IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOR RURAL AMERICA Funding will Create or Save Nearly 1,600 Rural Jobs
WASHINGTON, March 29, 2006 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that nearly $5.7 million will be invested through nine organizations for business development that will create or retain almost 1,600 rural jobs. This investment further supports President Bush's goal to create jobs and improve economic opportunities in rural communities.
"The investments that I am announcing today will help to provide greater economic opportunity in rural America," said Johanns. "Theses funds will create or save nearly 1,600 jobs, helping to retain community residents, attract newcomers and encourage entrepreneurship."
Loans are made available through the USDA Rural Development Intermediary Relending Program. Business revolving loan funds are aimed at financing business facilities and community development projects in rural areas. This is achieved through loans made to intermediaries who in turn re-lend funds locally to support businesses or community development. Loans from intermediaries to the recipients must be used to establish new businesses, expand existing businesses, create employment opportunities, save jobs or complete community development projects.
The following applicants were selected to receive loan funds:
Southern Financial Partners
Pacific Islands Development Bank
Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission
Eastern Idaho Development Corporation
Appalachian Investment Corporation
Meramec Regional Planning Commission
East Carolina Development Company, Inc.
Capital Regional Development Council
Lane Council of Governments
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in rural communities. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development has invested over $63 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. Over 1.1 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.