WASHINGTON, March 22, 2016 – Rural Business Cooperative-Service Administrator Sam Rikkers today announced that USDA is seeking applications for loans and grants to help support the start-up or expansion of rural businesses.
In Nebraska, a $300,000 grant awarded last year to Central City through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program will be used to establish a revolving loan fund. The initial loan from Central City to Merrick County Entertainment Corp will construct a new energy efficient 9,800 square foot community cinema complex.
USDA funds will assist the Merrick County Entertainment Corp in purchasing digital theater equipment, seating and other furnishings for the theater. The building will house two theaters with a total of 290 seats and be equipped with two modern automated digital projection systems and screens. The facility will be available to private persons, businesses and non-profit organizations for community, business and family gatherings.
“Our small, rural businesses need financing to compete in the global economy,” Rikkers said. “With this announcement, USDA is demonstrating its continued commitment to investing in small towns and rural communities. These loans and grants will spur entrepeneurship, create jobs and improve the quality of life in rural America.”
The funding is being provided through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Under this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to local utilities for projects that will create or retain jobs in rural areas.
USDA is making $37 million in loans and $11 million in grants available. A recipient may receive a loan of up to $1million, or a grant of up to $300,000.
Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $330 million in loans and grants through the REDLG program.
For information on how to apply for REDLG loans or grants in Nebraska contact Rural Business Specialist Deborah Drbal at 402.437.5558 or email@example.com or see page 14415 of the March 17 Federal Register. The first round of applications is due March 31, 2016, and the second round of applications is due June 30, 2016.