County receives $40,000 from USDA to promote economic growth
The idea of partnering with agencies to
help promote economic growth in Ripley County has paid off. Ripley
County Economic Development Executive Director Gary Norman was
pleased to receive a grant from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise,
saying, This will definitely help our county.
Recently the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development
presented a $40,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to the
local economic development corporation.
This particular grant will provide incentives for business expansion,
job retention and creations, along with private investment in
rural areas of Indiana.
Larry Adams, area director for USDA, from the North Vernon office,
praised the efforts of Norman and said Ripley County is
a good fit for our programs. He said their office looks
forward to working with the Ripley County Economic Development
Corporation and appreciates the relationship with Gary.
The mission of the office in North Vernon is to help small communities
such as the ones located within Ripley County. They are already
involved in some projects here.
USDA Rural Development State Director Phil Lehmkuhler was in attendance
when the check was presented at the Versailles office. He noted,
With these funds, the Ripley County Economic Development
Growth Corporation will be able to assist numerous small businesses,
who in the past, have had very few options for alternatives to
traditional bank financing.
Lehmkuhler further noted, USDA Rural Development is committed
to improving the quality of life in rural Indiana. When rural
Indiana makes progress, all of Indiana benefits. He noted
that the latest grant to Ripley County is one of several that
have recently been awarded in Indiana by the USDA Rural Development.
These grants are in keeping with the mission of USDA Rural
Development which is to provide equity and technical assistance
to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development,
and critical community and technology infrastructure, Lehmkuhler
At the event, it was noted that USDA Rural Development has many
opportunities for people such as loans for homes, rural rental
housing, water and waste facility funding, business and industry
guaranteed loans. Vickie McMillan, area specialist for USDA noted
that some of the financing for low income housing is at 100% financing.
They also have a program that guarantees banks 90% on losses on
some loans. She noted that the figures to quality for a four-person
household for some loans is as high as $73,600.
USDA has much more to offer, including loans for the elderly,
very low income households, and grants for health and safety.
Weve got something for everybody, McMillan noted.
Norman said he looks forward to working closely with the USDA
Rural Development to promote the county he serves.
For more information on loans you can contact the USDA Rural Development,
North Vernon Area Office, located at 2600 Highway 7 North, North
Vernon or by calling 812-346-3411, Ext. 4. Additional information
is available on rural programs at the USDAs web site at
ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Pictured from left are: USDA Rural Development State
Director Phil Lehmkuhler, Dean Edwards, USDA director of
business programs, Pam Weiler, administrative assistant
for Ripley County Economic Development Corporation, Marianne
Wiggers, Mary Ann Gay, Larry Armbrecht, Bonnie Jeffries,
all members of the local economic development corporation,
Gary Norman, Ripley County Executive Director, and Jeanette
Mount, field representative for US Congressman Baron Hill.
The ceremonial check presentation was held at the Ripley
County Economic Development office in Versailles.