USDA Invests More than $9 Million to Support Rural Economic Growth

The agency will provide funds to purchase fire trucks in Lumberton and Warrenton, NC

USDA Invests More than $9 Million to Support Rural Economic Growth
Image: Pixabay
July 18, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it is investing in 15 projects nationwide to support growth in rural areas.

The funding is being provided through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, through which the USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain employment.

"Small businesses are the cornerstone of the rural economy," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a written statement. "During the Obama Administration, USDA's investments have directly helped more than 100,000 small business get off the ground or expand, and the projects announced today will help 15 more rural communities see job growth and economic development."

Two of the investments chosen by REDLG are based in North Carolina.

First, the program is providing a $300,000 grant and $472,000 loan to the Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation in Lumberton, NC. The funds will help the Puppy Creek Fire Department purchase a ladder truck.

In addition, REDLG has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, allowing the Arcola Rural Volunteer Fire Department to buy a pumper fire truck. The truck will be used to service the community in Warrenton, NC.

In total, REDLG is providing about $2.3 million in grants and $7.2 million in loans to projects in 12 states.