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CDFA Rural Development Finance Update - March 16, 2021

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Rural Development Finance Update
March 16, 2021
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Rural Development Finance Update


Fact Sheet: USDA Provisions in the American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a critical step in getting the U.S. economy back on track, getting children back to school, getting COVID-19 vaccinations to all Americans, and pulling millions out of poverty. Provisions within the jurisdiction of the USDA will reduce hunger across the country, strengthen the food supply chain, invest in rural America, and provide long-awaited support to underserved, socially disadvantaged farmers.

American Society of Civil Engineers Releases 2021 Infrastructure Report Card
The 2021 Report Card for America's Infrastructure reveals we've made some incremental progress toward restoring our nation's infrastructure. For the first time in 20 years, our infrastructure is out of the D range. While this report grades 17 categories individually, our infrastructure is a system of systems and more connected than ever before.

Microloans Help Minnesota Small Town Businesses Stay Open
St. Peter, MN wants the "no-empty-storefronts" look to stay that way, despite COVID-19's direct hit on small-business owners' livelihoods. New programs have been created by the city during the coronavirus pandemic that provide financial assistance to a variety of stores and services, including a microloan program that allows owners of small businesses in town to borrow up to $10,000.

COVID Relief Bill: A Path to Recovery for Rural Michigan?
The COVID-19 relief bill is expected to provide much-needed economic relief for Michigan's small towns and rural communities. Along with direct stimulus payments, extended unemployment benefits, and increased food assistance, the bill will fund the expansion of vaccine distribution by rural hospitals, provide mortgage assistance for low-income rural households behind in payments, and expand broadband access and provide internet-connected devices to vulnerable students.

USDA Invites Comments on Final Rule to Expand Broadband Access in Rural America Under the ReConnect Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is seeking comments on a final rule to expand broadband service in rural areas by simplifying program requirements to make more companies eligible to participate in USDA's ReConnect Program.

How the Utah Legislature is Planning to Spend Another $915M in Upcoming Budget
Education, rural infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, and homelessness were among the big winners in Utah's budget this year. The upcoming budget includes $115 million to create revolving loan funds to help cities and counties fund project areas, with $75 million set aside for Utah Inland Port Authority project areas and $40 million mostly for loans for rural broadband infrastructure.

Florida Announces $4.6M for Rural Communities Hit by Hurricane Michael
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more than $4.6 million in state Rural Infrastructure Fund awards for north Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. The idea is to fund "planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities, encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies through the promotion of tourism, trade, and economic development."

USDA Invests $42M in Distance Learning and Telemedicine Infrastructure for Rural Communities
The USDA announced it is investing $42.3 million to help rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities, including $24 million provided through the CARES Act. Rural areas are seeing higher infection and death rates related to COVID-19 due to several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance.

Upcoming Events
Intro Tax Increment Finance WebCourse

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Financing Disaster Resiliency in Rural Communities
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
During the first installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, hear about a new technical assistance program from CDFA designed to support rural communities that have recently experienced a natural disaster. Experts will discuss the variety of financing tools available from federal, state, and local sources to encourage investment in resilient infrastructure.

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: How PACE Gets Utilized Across All Market Segments
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern
PACE can be used for new construction, existing building renovations, or refinancing. Each market segment has its own view of why PACE is valuable and this workshop will provide insights and details into each.

USDA Rural Development News

Beaufort, NC Moves Forward with $23.6M Package from USDA for Infrastructure Improvements
Beaufort commissioners have agreed to accept a $23.6 million package – comprised of low-interest loans and grants – from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a major overhaul of water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure in town. Coupled with budgeted borrowing for around $6 million in street paving projects, the combined effort to repair and replace underground infrastructure before resurfacing streets totals around $30 million.

What's in the American Rescue Plan Act for Agriculture?
The Senate passed, on a party-line vote, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package (The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021). Combined, the nutrition and agricultural provisions are estimated at $22.7 billion.

Dickinson County, MI Healthcare System Secures $16.9M USDA Loan
Federal officials have authorized a long-awaited $16.9 million Rural Development loan to enable Dickinson County Healthcare System to refinance its debt and acquire new equipment. The loan was granted based on the strength of DCHS's strategic plan and the organization's improved financial stability.

New Agriculture Secretary Brings To-Do List
Tom Vilsack will begin his second stint as agriculture secretary facing problems from the pandemic and climate change to rising hunger rates in America. His list of goals is much longer and each item on it is a blockbuster.

Boerne, TX Affordable Housing Project Closes on $4.8M USDA Loan
Churchill Stateside Group, LLC (CSG) announced the closing of financing for a new-construction affordable housing project in Boerne, Texas. The apartment community consists of 48 units catering to family tenancy. Permanent Sources consist of Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity and a USDA Rural Development 538 Permanent Loan Financing. CSG is providing the $4.8M USDA Rural Development 538 Permanent financing.

USDA Rural Development Announces $17.6M for Solar Projects in Rural Maine
USDA Rural Development is investing $17,615,000 through loan guarantees for solar renewable energy projects in Maine through its Rural Energy for America Program. This investment means that clean solar energy will be produced locally, potentially resulting in significant savings for residential, commercial, and industrial ratepayers in Maine's rural communities.

Rural Development Finance News

Alabama Legislature Renews Growing Alabama Act and Alabama Jobs Act
Lexology | Mar. 9 | Economic Development | Rural Development | State Finance Program | Tax Credits

Texas City-Run and Rural Electric Firms Face Bailout Over Storm Crisis
Reuters | Mar. 8 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Energy Finance | Rural Development

Georgia State House Passes Tax Relief Legislation
Henry Herald | Mar. 6 | Economic Development | Incentives | Rural Development | State Finance Program | Tax Credits

Black Farmers May Finally Get the Help They Deserve
The New York Times | Mar. 4 | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Legislative | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | COVID-19

Anchor Packaging Starts $21.5M Expansion
Arkansas Business | Mar. 2 | Food Systems Finance | Rural Development | Tax Credits

15 Provisions for Healthcare Providers in the American Rescue Plan
JD Supra | Mar. 2 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Healthcare | Legislative | Rural Development | COVID-19

New Mexico Governor Grisham Applauds Economic Security Measures
NMEDD | Mar. 1 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Rural Development | State Finance Program | COVID-19

Kansas Law Creates Tax Exemption for Interest Income on Ag Real Estate Loans
ABA Banking Journal | Feb. 26 | Agriculture Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | State Finance Program | Tax Credits

Legislation Introduced to Expand & Strengthen Local Meat Processing Capabilities
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree | Feb. 23 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Food Systems Finance | Legislative | Rural Development | COVID-19

LISC Awarded $7.5M Capital Magnet Fund for Affordable Housing, Economic Development
PR Newswire | Feb. 23 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Rural Development | U.S. Dept. of Treasury CDFI Fund

Community Development Center Receives $170K for Rental Rehab
Business Wire | Feb. 22 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Housing Finance | Rural Development

Eastern Iowa Meat Processors Awarded TIF, Tax Benefits for Planned Expansions
Business Record | Feb. 22 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Food Systems Finance | Rural Development | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

Ohio Agriculture Legislation Moving Forward
Ohio's Country Journal | Feb. 22 | Agriculture Finance | Energy Finance | Rural Development | State Finance Program | Tax Credits

CDFA Resources

Reimagining Rural Policy: Organizing Federal Assistance to Maximize Rural Prosperity
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Economic Development | Federal | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tax Credits
The federal programs and tools available today to help generate social and economic development in rural communities serve as a reminder of active and broad federal involvement in the 20th century, and the possibilities for federal leadership to help rural communities meet the current moment. Yet they are outdated, fragmented, and incoherent. This report identifies over 400 programs open to rural communities for economic and community development, spanning 13 departments, 10 independent agencies, and over 50 offices and sub-agencies.

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Expanding Capital Access to Preserve Small Businesses
Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Legislative | Rural Development | Webcasts | Economic Development
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, experts from the SBA, EDA, and USDA provided an analysis of its small business support programs and discuss strategies for distributing capital to small businesses in disadvantaged areas.

Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings - FY20 Annual Report
Economic Development | Historic Preservation | Redevelopment | Community Development | Rural Development | Tax Credits
The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program, administered by the National Park Service in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Offices, is the nation's most effective program to promote historic preservation and community revitalization through historic rehabilitation. The 2020 annual report for the Historic Tax Credit program shares accomplishments and select projects from the past year.

2020 New Mexico Affordable Housing Needs Assessment
Economic Development | Housing Finance | Rural Development | Urban Development
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority authored this affordable housing needs assessment in 2020. Housing markets in New Mexico vary widely between larger metro areas, many of which are growing and stable, and rural areas with declining populations and low economic activity.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information, visit www.CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net.

Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300


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CDFA National Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker Graydon LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
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  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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