The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding more than $1.7-million dollars in loans and grants to a host of projects across rural Nebraska.
Doug O’Brien, the agency’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, says the infusion of capital comes from the Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program and it’ll go initially to five Nebraska-based agencies.
O’Brien says, “Southeast Nebraska Development received $250,000 in loans and $62,000 in grants to make microloans and provide technical assistance to small businesses in 15 Nebraska counties.”
The Lyons-based Center for Rural Affairs is getting a $500,000 loan in order to make microloans to support very small rural businesses across the state.
Another large contribution is going to First Ponca Financial.
“We provided $300,000 in loans and $75,000 in grants and they’re serving 12 Nebraska counties, 2 Iowa counties and 1 in South Dakota,” O’Brien says. “They’re going to serve those very small micro-entrepreneurs, providing technical assistance and access to capital for these small businesses.”
He says the Perennial Public Power District is getting a $300,000 grant from the USDA.
O’Brien says, “They in turn are providing the Fillmore County Hospital equipment and helping to furnish its new behavioral health facility.”
The Nebraska Enterprise Fund is getting a $100,000 loan to make microloans to support small, rural businesses across the state.
Across the country, he says the USDA is awarding $59 million in grants and loans to projects similar to those in Nebraska.