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CDFA Rural Development Finance Update - October 19, 2021

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Rural Development Finance Update
October 19, 2021
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Rural Development Finance Update

Features

Learn About Preserving Rural Small Businesses at the CDFA Virtual National Summit
Register now for the CDFA Virtual National Summit on November 1-5 and be sure to join the session on Preserving Small Businesses in Rural Communities, Preserving Tribal Small Businesses, and Preserving Small Businesses through Community Engagement. The entire event will bring together the development finance community for pragmatic and action-oriented discussion, presentations, case studies, and interactive networking.

Reenvisioning Rural America
There is no single rural America. Its communities have diverse industries, cultures, and people. But definitions of these areas tend to lump them together under the catch-all of "not urban" and focus on what they are perceived as lacking. To help build a better foundation for leveraging rural assets, the Urban Institute studied populated census tracts across the US that are defined as "micropolitan," "small town," or "isolated rural" by the rural-urban commuting area codes from the USDA.

USDA Announces $3B Investment in Agriculture, Animal Health, and Nutrition; Unveils New Climate Partnership Initiative
USDA announced a comprehensive set of investments to address challenges facing America's agricultural producers. These include assistance to address challenges and costs associated with drought, animal health, market disruptions for agricultural commodities, and school food supply chain issues. Secretary Vilsack also outlined and requested public comments on a new climate partnership initiative designed to create new revenue streams for producers via market opportunities.

University New Mexico to Receive $4 Million in EPA Funding for Small, Rural, and Tribal Wastewater Systems
Researchers from The University of New Mexico are part of $12 million in grants recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will provide training and technical assistance to small, rural, and Tribal wastewater systems. This funding will help reduce pollution, protect water quality and improve public health in struggling communities across the country.

USDA Commitments to Equity in Agriculture Include Nearly $25M for Programs Reaching Underserved Communities
USDA announced a trio of awards totaling nearly $25 million in grants and cooperative agreements intended to ensure broader access and participation in USDA programs and services for historically underserved farmers and ranchers.

Iowa Governor Doubles Down on Rural Broadband Funding
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $200 million in additional federal ARPA funds is available for rural broadband expansion projects through the state. The new grant program allows communications service providers, including telecommunication companies and local governments, to apply for up to 60 percent of their broadband project costs in eligible areas of the state.

COVID-19 May Have Unexpected Benefit of Freeing up Funds for Rural Hospitals to Invest in Technology
Federal provider relief funds have allowed rural hospitals to spend money that otherwise would have gone to personal protection equipment and COVID-19 needs, to something they've needed: upgraded technology. Providers are still awaiting clarity on whether the funds if passed, could go towards technology investments.

Vermont Farm Fund Launches New Producer Loans
The Vermont Farm Fund, a non-profit revolving loan fund for local farmers and food producers, has launched a new loan program for start-up farmers and food businesses. The VFF's New Producer Loan will provide access to no-hassle, friendly-term loans up to $20,000 at a low 3% interest rate. A true revolving loan fund, as the community of recipients, pays back their loans, funds are replenished for the next cycle of borrowers.

Revitalizing the Main Street, Revitalizing the Community in Rural Utah
In February, the Utah Legislature passed a bill establishing a statewide Main Street Program, allocating more than $350,000 for funding.  Up to that point, Utah had been one of a handful of states without a Main Street Program, though the state had one up until the 2000s. The Utah statewide program will have a tiered system to create a varied approach to each community's interests.

Live Oak Bank Surpasses $1B in Renewable Energy Loans to Support Rural Communities
Live Oak Bank has reached a milestone in providing more than $1.2 billion in renewable energy financing for solar and bioenergy projects in rural communities nationwide. Live Oak is the largest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lender in the country, according to 2020 data from the USDA, and made its first renewable energy loan in 2016.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Virtual National Summit

SSBCI Learning Series - Module III
October 22, 2021 - 1:00 PM Eastern
The third module of the SSBCI Learning Series will cover Collateral Support Program and Loan Participation Program. It will also discuss insights on engaging financial institutions and FinTech, as well as strategies for meeting the needs of SEDI Businesses, Very Small Businesses, Rural Businesses, and Tribal Businesses.

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: PACE 2.0 - The Next 10 Years
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern
It has been approximately 10 years since the first PACE programs began. During this workshop, our speakers will provide insights related to expanding PACE assessments to benefit buildings and properties for other non-energy related improvements such as indoor air quality, lead water pipe replacement, surface storm water mitigation, and sewer overflows.

USDA Rural Development News

Over $6 Million Coming to Otsego Township, Part of Broader Rural Development Investments
Over $6,000,000 in rural development investments is coming to Otsego Township. It's related to a $272,000,000 investment through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.

USDA Invests $15M to Construct a Regional Water Distribution System in Northwest Missouri
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Missouri Acting State Director announced that the USDA is investing an additional $15,018,000 to Great Northwest Wholesale Water Commission for the development of a regional water distribution system. The project will construct 36 miles of water transmission line, booster pump facilities, and two water storage tanks.

USDA Invests $4.7M to Provide Outreach and Technical Assistance to Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an investment of $4.7 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to historically underserved farmers and ranchers. The partnerships will support participation in Farm Service Agency programs, including those that are part of USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

USDA Invests More Than $1M to Support Rural Missouri Businesses
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Missouri Acting State Director D Clark Thomas announced 19 organizations statewide are being awarded a total of $1,006,698 to create jobs and increase economic opportunities throughout the state. Recipients may use the funds to provide technical assistance, training, and job-creation activities to small rural businesses.

USDA to Launch Loan Guarantee Initiative to Strengthen America's Food Supply Chain
As part of the Administration's efforts to address food systems challenges arising from the pandemic as well as those going back decades, USDA announced plans for another $100 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding would leverage hundreds of millions more in lending through community and private sector lenders to expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other food supply chain infrastructure.

Higher Loan Limit Now Available for USDA Guaranteed Farm Loans
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a higher loan limit will be available for borrowers seeking a guaranteed farm loan starting Oct. 1, 2021, from $1.776 million to $1.825 million. In addition, FSA will permit a second Disaster Set-Aside for COVID-19 and a second DSA for natural disasters for those who had an initial COVID-19 DSA. Requests for a COVID-19 DSA or a second DSA must be received no later than May 1, 2022.


Rural Development Finance News

Loans Available to Assist Kentucky Rural Hospitals
Kentucky Today | Oct. 13 | Economic Development | Healthcare | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development

Blackfoot School District, ID, Breaks Ground for New Projects
East Idaho News | Oct. 13 | Bond Finance | Rural Development

1982 Foundation Purchases Abandoned School to Save Town and Create Model for Rural America
Yahoo! Finance | Oct. 11 | Community Development | Economic Development | Redevelopment | Rural Development

Richmond, VA City Council Signals Support for Plans for American Rescue Plan Money
Richmond Free Press | Oct. 7 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance | COVID-19

Logansport, IN Looking at First Residential TIF Districts and New Land
Pharos Tribune | Oct. 6 | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

Meet the Virginia Conservationist Trying to Turn Old Coalfields Into Solar Farms
Energy News Network | Oct. 4 | Brownfield Financing | Energy Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Redevelopment | Rural Development

Jaffrey, NH Seeks Contractors for Brownfields Assessments
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript | Oct. 4 | Brownfield Financing | Economic Development | Redevelopment | Rural Development

Children's Museum of Cheyenne, WY Gets Public Funds
Wyoming Tribune Eagle | Oct. 3 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance

Petersburg, VA Selects First Projects for $8.8M in ARPA Funds
The Progress Index | Sep. 27 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Infrastructure Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Water Finance

Chillicothe, IL Businesses Are Seeing Improvements, Renovations Thanks to TIF Funds
CIProud | Sep. 27 | Economic Development | Housing Finance | Redevelopment | Rural Development | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

Minnesota Governor Proposes $10M Drought Aid Plan for Farmers
MinnPost | Sep. 24 | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Resiliency | Rural Development | State Finance Program

Big Award From State to Help Redevelop Site in Winchendon, MA
The Gardner News | Sep. 24 | Brownfield Financing | Economic Development | Redevelopment | Rural Development

DASH Act Introduced in Senate Would Expand LIHTC, Create MIHTC, NHTC, Renter Tax Credit
Novogradac | Sep. 23 | Bond Finance | Housing Finance | Legislative | Rural Development | Tax Credits | Tribal Finance

To Help Local Economies, Utah Hires Rural, Remote State Workers
The Daily Yonder | Sep. 21 | Rural Development

CDFA Resources

Joint Resource Guide to Strengthen and Expand Child Care Facilities in Rural Communities
Access to Capital | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Education Finance | Healthcare | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Innovation Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Social Finance | Tribal Finance | Urban Development
Together, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mission area have developed this Joint Resource Guide to further our commitment to supporting rural families by expanding childcare facilities.


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
info@cdfa.net

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