USDA and EDA launch program to boost economic development in rural communities

This week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) released a “resource guide” to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural areas across the country.

The resource guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas, which includes planning and technical assistance; infrastructure and broadband expansion; entrepreneurship and business assistance; and workforce development and livability.

“America’s rural communities are critical to the success of our nation’s economy,” USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said. “When we invest in rural communities, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who live in them.

“The guide we are unveiling today will better equip people with the tools they need to make their communities more attractive, economically viable and safe places to live and work.”

The guide also features information and links to USDA Rural Development and EDA key priorities and resources. Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. The assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and healthcare; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas.

“We are committed to working together to explore new ways to support and strengthen rural America,” EDA Assistant Secretary Alejandra Y. Castillo said. “It is important that we equip communities with tools that are accessible and easily utilized to maximize the work of providing greater, inclusive economic prosperity across our country. This guide is a great tool to deliver on that commitment.”

For more information on the USDA Rural Development, visit www.rd.usda.gov. The resource guide can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yrf8tn2r.