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Head of Puerto Rico Rural Dev’t, Rivera, wins Theodore Roosevelt Leadership award

Josué Rivera, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office in Puerto Rico, has been awarded the 2020 Theodore Roosevelt Leadership award from the Government Executive Media Group. The entity is a provider of news for federal government managers, which held its second annual Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards as a three-day virtual event. This year’s event was hosted by Emmy-winner...

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USDA grants $2.2M loan to town of Cabo Rojo to improve landfill operation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it has approved a $2.2 million loan to the municipality of Cabo Rojo, to improve the town’s landfill operations. The assignment is part of a global $281 million that the federal agency is investing in 106 rural water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects in 36 states and Puerto Rico, through its Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. “The goal of our loan...

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USDA extends ReConnect application deadline to April 15, defers loan payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced that the agency has extended the deadline for ReConnect Pilot Program applications to April 15. “In light of the COVID-19 National Emergency, USDA is extending the application deadline for round two of ReConnect Pilot Program funding to give rural businesses, cooperatives, and communities extra time to apply for this critical assistance that will help bring high-speed...

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Why Are Rural Small Businesses Missing the Growth Taking Place in Cities and Suburbs?

Since the Great Recession (~2008), the growth of small businesses has been concentrated in big cities and urban-suburbs, according to a report by the Center for American Progress (CAP). During the same period of time, nearly all rural areas have experienced a substantial loss of jobs and a lack of business creation. Policies geared toward encouraging rural startups have not been effective in rural areas, leading to a growing regional...

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USDA assigns $453K to 4 P.R. agri-businesses for renewable energy systems

Four businesses in Puerto Rico will receive a combined $452,820 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program to develop renewable energy systems. In total, the USDA will invest $165.4 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy cost. The agency is providing 621 awards to applicants in the 50 states, Western Pacific and Puerto Rico. USDA Rural Development State Director...

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How tech startup culture could help rural and regional Australia thrive

Australia’s rural and regional communities depend on industries that are being automated fast, and employing fewer people as a result. We’re currently in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history. And we can see that global demand for our coal and gas will be much less in future. How should regional Australia prepare to weather those changes? Knuckle down, scrimp and save, borrow more and hope for the best? Or is there a...