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Economic Development

Economic DevelopmentDS&O is committed to economic development in the communities it serves. Below is a description of some of our initatives that spur economic growth and opportunity for people in North Central Kansas.

USDA Loans and Grants

The REDLG program provides funding to rural projects through local utility organizations such as DS&O. Under the REDLoan program, USDA provides zero interest loans to utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly. The utility is responsible for repayment to the Agency. Under the REDGrant program, USDA provides grant funds to local utility organizations which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds. Loans are made from the revolving loan fund to projects that will create or retain rural jobs. When the revolving loan fund is terminated, the grant is repaid to the Agency.

What type of projects are eligible?

REDLG grantees and borrowers pass the funding on to eligible projects. Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Capitalization of revolving loan funds
  • Technical assistance in conjunction with projects funded under a zero interest REDLoan
  • Business Incubators
  • Community Development Assistance to non-profits and public bodies (particularly job creation or enhancement)
  • Facilities and equipment for education and training for rural residents to facilitate economic development
  • Facilities and equipment for medical care to rural residents
  • Telecommunications/computer networks for distance learning or long distance medical care
Revolving Loan Program

Repayment of USDA Rural Development grants has allowed DS&O to create a revolving loan fund. The fund provides low interest loans for business development.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of projects. Offering both loan guarantees and grants, the REAP program helps eligible applicants install renewable energy systems such as solar panels or anaerobic digesters, make energy efficiency improvements such as installing irrigation pumps or replacing ventilation systems, and conduct energy audits and feasibility studies.

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