Financing is a critical component in economic development. Infrastructure, jobs, education and other key ingredients are on the electric cooperatives’ agenda to help grow communities. The more electric cooperatives can assist their local communities, the more the communities will benefit.
The increasing emphasis among electric cooperatives on business retention, attraction and development opportunities has led to increasing pressure to provide capital to local projects. Presently, only one federal program specifically seeks out electric cooperatives as vehicles for local economic development, the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG).
NRECA supports the REDLG program as it is the primary and most critical rural economic development financing tool for electric cooperatives. Further, NRECA supports the development of any other funding programs that promote rural economic development and that utilize cooperatives as part of the delivery system for such financing.