USDA Seeks Applications for Loans, Grants
SAN JUAN – Rural Business Cooperative-Service Administrator Sam Rikkers announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications for loans and grants to help support the startup or expansion of rural businesses.
“Our small, rural businesses need financing to compete in the global economy,” Rikkers said in USDA’s release. “With this announcement, USDA is demonstrating its continued commitment to investing in small town and rural communities. These loans and grants will spur entrepreneurship, create jobs and improve the quality of life in rural America.”
José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico, indicated that the funding is being provided through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG). Under this program, the USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to local utilities, which use the funding to “create revolving funds for projects that will create or retain jobs in rural areas,” the announcement reads.
The USDA is making $37 million in loans and $11 million in grants available. A recipient may receive a loan of up to $1 million 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, according to the agency.
For more information on how to apply for the REDLG loans or grants, call Danna Quiles, Business & Cooperative Program director at the Puerto Rico State Office, at (787) 766-5095 X 172, 173, 174 or 175. The first round of applications is due March 31 and the second June 30.