USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has several programs that can be used to support transportation related projects in rural areas and small communities.
-Applicants interested in implementing transportation related projects that will help improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities may be eligible for loans through the Business and Industry Direct Loan Program. For example, loans for projects that enhance public transportation infrastructure can reduce auto emissions that have a negative impact on the environmental climate of rural communities. Those same projects can stimulate the economy of rural communities by enhancing the flow of commerce, and by providing access to jobs.
-Community development projects that are transportation related may be funded by the Intermediary Relending Program. For example, lending institutions can be financed by the government to, in turn, provide loans for the revitalization of small downtown main streets.
-Through Rural Business Enterprise Grants, applicants may be eligible for grants used for, among other things, the acquisition and development of land and the construction of buildings, plants, equipment, access streets and roads. The funding of anyone of these activities can help reduce the cost of individual transportation related projects that, collectively, can enhance rural communities.
-Rural Business Opportunity Grants are intended to help promote sustainable economic development through the provision of technical assistance, training, and planning activities. An example of a possible use of grant funds might be for technical assistance needed to develop a plan to revitalize a small community's main street.
-Rural Economic Development Loans provide zero interest loans to promote rural economic development and job creation projects. An example of a possible use of these types of loans might be to assist businesses in a rural community with the development of a job access program.
-Rural Economic Development Grants can be used for projects that, among other things, create jobs, promote long-term improvements in economic development, reduce unemployment rates, and include a community-based economic development program. Many well planned community-oriented transportation projects can do all of the above.