USDA Announces Economic Development Funding To Support Business Growth, Create Jobs

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 27 recipients in rural communities for loans and grants to spur economic development and create or save jobs.

  “The funding I am announcing today will help rural businesses, entrepreneurs and tribal communities obtain the financing they need to grow their businesses and create jobs,” Vilsack said.

   USDA is providing the loans and grants through Rural Development’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDL/G) program, the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), and the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. The three programs are designed to help rural communities attract capital investments that lead to successful business development, job creation, infrastructure improvements, and economically vibrant communities.

   “Our business development programs are geared toward providing resources to local organizations, non-profits and units of governments who can identify local business needs are met,” said Illinois Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan. “They are our best source for creating an environment that can grow jobs and economic opportunity.”

   Rural utility cooperatives are eligible to apply for funds from the agency’s REDLG program which they use to support specific economic opportunities and essential services in their rural service areas.

   In Illinois, Eastern Illinois Electric Cooperative (EIEC) is receiving a $650,000 REDL loan for 10 years at zero interest that will be used to help purchase equipment and build a 17,568 square foot expansion of a building owned by Illinois Ohio Properties, LLC, seven miles west of Tuscola.  J.L. Allen Company will continue to lease existing space there as well as the addition.  The company is a general contractor that specializes in the construction of pipeline facilities and pipe fabrication. The additional space will allow the company to expand its operation and house an area for pipe fabrication and offices.

   EIEC also received a Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant in 2008 that helped Country Health, Inc. in Gifford build an addition and do extensive remodeling of its nursing home.  

   USDA Rural Development’s RBEG program provides grants that support small and emerging rural businesses for projects such as distance learning networks and employment-related adult education programs. Rural public entities (towns, communities, State agencies and municipal authorities), Indian tribes and rural private non-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding under this program.

   The IRP is designed to increase economic activity and employment in rural communities. Under this program, loans are provided to local organizations (intermediaries) to establish revolving loan funds. These revolving loan funds are used to finance business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities.   For a list of all recipients selected for funding under today’s announcement, please click here. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.

   USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. The Illinois portfolio exceeds $3.5 billion.  These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).