USDA Rural Development

Efforts to strengthen the economy of rural communities include the USDA Rural Development community and business programs, which can provide guaranteed loans, direct loans and grants in qualified rural areas and towns.

Water and Waste Disposal Funds.

These loans and grants are available to public bodies, Indian Tribes, cooperatives, and nonprofit corporations to develop water and waste disposal systems–including solid waste disposal and storm drainage–in rural areas and towns with populations not in excess of 10,000.

Community Facility Loans.

These loans are available to public entities and nonprofit organizations for construction, enlargement, extension or other type of improvement of community facilities providing essential services in rural areas and towns with populations of 50,000 or fewer.

Fire and Rescue Loans.

These funds may be used for construction, extension, enlargement or improvement of community facilities primarily providing fire and rescue service to rural areas. This could include the purchase of major equipment, e.g., fire trucks and ambulances.

Business and Industry Guaranteed And Direct Loans.

Business and Industry Loans are made for improving, developing, or financing business and industry, creating jobs, and improving the economic and environmental climate in rural communi- ties. The maximum aggregate B&I Guaranteed Loan(s) amount to any one borrower is $25 million and $10 million for a B& I Direct Loan. B&I loans are made outside the boundaries of cities with populations of 50,000 or more.

Intermediary Re-lending Program.

These loans are available for financing business facilities and community development projects in rural areas and towns with populations of 25,000 or less. The loans are made to intermediaries who then relend the funds to ultimate recipients for business facilities or community development.

Rural Business Enterprise Grants.

These grants can be made to public bodies, Indian Tribes, cooperatives, and private nonprofit corporations for the financing and facilitation of the development of small and emerging private business enterprises located in areas outside the boundaries of cities with populations of 50,000 or more in immediately adjacent urbanized areas.

Rural Economic Development Zero Interest Loans.

This money is available from USDA Rural Development through rural electric and telephone borrowers of the Rural Utilities Service. These loans are for the purpose of promoting rural economic development and job creation projects, including project feasibility studies, start-up costs, business incubator projects and other reasonable expenses necessary for fostering rural economic development. Projects funded must be located in rural areas.

Rural Economic Development Grants

are available from USDA Rural Development through rural electric and telephone borrowers of the Rural Utilities Service. These grants are available for rural economic development and job creation projects. They may be made in conjunction with zero interest loans to the extent necessary for a feasible project. They may also be made for the establishment of a revolving loan fund program. Projects funded must be located in rural areas.

Distance Learning and Telemedrongicine Program.

This program provides funding for facilities and equipment to provide telecommunication linkages among education and health care facilities.