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USDA announces $1.4 billion in awards for rural development

February 10, 2022
By: Ashwin Shenoy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a $1.4 billion investment into rural areas of the U.S. for job training, business development, and technical assistance. These investments are granted through eight different programs to 751 awardees across 49 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. USDA estimates that the grants and loans provided by these awards will create or save at least 50,000 jobs in the rural United States.

The breakdown of the dollars invested and number of awards by program is as follows:

  • Business and Industry CARES Act Program - $155,450,399 (39 loans)
  • Business and Industry Loan Guarantees - $1,151,281,875 (187 loans)
  • Intermediary Relending Program - $6,250,000 (8 loans)
  • Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program - $5,800,000 (30 grants)
  • Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program - $8,443,320 (12 loans) and $1,761,052 (7 grants)
  • Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants - $8,510,000 (8 grants)
  • Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program - $2,650,000 (6 loans) and $3,563,299 (64 grants)
  • Value Added Producer Grants - $65,772,660 (390 grants)

California received the most awards (37), followed by Wisconsin (32), North Carolina (31), Washington (31), and Oklahoma (30). Connecticut was the only state that did not receive any awards. Many of these awards will provide financial assistance for small businesses and family farms in rural areas. These include programs aimed towards the economic empowerment of Native American groups and the development of women’s housing and health care facilities.

The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) program was created in the reauthorized Farm Bill as an initiative to provide rural regions with support similar to that available through the Economic Development Administration’s Build to Scale program. RISE has a current funding cycle open, with applications due April 19.

More information on the USDA’s recently announced rural development awards can be found here.

usda, funding, rural