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Rural Economic Development


Electric cooperatives across the nation have been making a big difference to local economic development efforts for many years. The cooperative model, built on service before profit while working for the sustainable development of their communities, has enabled cooperatives to invest in necessary community projects. The USDA Rural Economic Development Loan program (REDL) has provided Graham County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (GCEC) an avenue to assist with economic health and growth within Graham County.  This program, available through GCEC, provides funds to community and economic development projects at 0% interest for up to a ten-year term.

The program can fund up to 80 percent of the total project cost and is selected through a competitive process. These funds can be used in two ways; for public purpose projects or for economic development projects that involve new business start-ups or existing business expansions.

Economic development projects and new or expanding businesses are eligible for funds to finance a new business or expansion of a financially viable economic development or job creation projects in rural Graham County.  Funds may only be used to provide start-up venture costs, including, but not limited to:

  • Financing real estate, buildings (new or existing)
  • Equipment, or working capital for a business expansion
  • Business Incubators
  • Technical assistance
  • Project feasibility studies
  • Advanced telecommunications services and computer networks for medical, educational, and job training service
  • Community facilities projects.

Candidates for the interest free loan program are required to meet minimum criteria before application can be submitted for the competitive approval process. The following must be provided with initial application:

  • Project budget
  • Funding for, 20% of the project costs
  • Business plan
  • Financial plan
  • Three years past tax returns (if active business)
  • Business financial reports (if active business)

If you are interested in applying for the REDL program and can fulfill the minimum criteria above, please contact Kirk Gray at (928) 485-8665.

REDL Loan Application

See additional articles related to the Rural Economic Development Program.

March 2019 page 25
March 2019 page 32


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