USDA sends more than $35 million to help rural businesses, including hotels, in Florida


Last week, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sec. Tom Vilsack announced that more than $35 million in federal funds is being directed to Florida.

The funds are part of USDA’s $770 million earmarked for 36 states and Puerto Rico.

“Rural America’s economic success has long been the foundation of our nation’s economy as a whole,” Vilsack said. “Under the direction of President Biden and Vice President Harris, the USDA prioritizes investments in jobs, businesses, and entrepreneurial opportunities in rural America. The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate just how committed the USDA remains to helping people in rural America create new and better market opportunities for our country.

“The funding will help a diverse rural America keep its resources and wealth at home through skills training, business expansion and technical assistance. This will help businesses hire more workers and reach new customers. This will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have not had access to essential resources and funding. It will also help entrepreneurs and business cooperatives create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for the items they produce,” the USDA noted.

With the support of the United States Sens. Marco RubioR-Fla., and Rick ScottR-Fla. and United States Representative Neal DunnR-Fla., USDA sends $4.3 million to MP Florida Hospitality.

“This investment in rural development will be used to provide additional financing to an existing loan. The project will be used to acquire a 60-room building Hampton Inn hotel at Pear, Florida. This project will help create and save 17 jobs for the community,” the USDA noted.

Rubio, Scott and Dunn also backed $17 million for Oasis Lake City LLC.

‘This rural development investment will be used to provide a loan guarantee to finance the construction of a 136-room building Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on 2.66 acres at lake town, Florida. Construction is expected to be completed by 2023-2024. This hotel will accommodate transient and tourist/leisure guests as it is near two major interstate highways,” the USDA noted.

Rubio, Scott and the United States Representative Greg Steube, R-Fla., backed USDA-approved $3.25 million for Bowling Hospitality LLC.

“This rural development investment will be used to provide alternative financing for a 48-room Best Western Heritage Hotel located on 5.16 acres in Bowling Green, Florida. This project will help save 12 jobs and create 2 jobs for the community,” the USDA explained.

Senators and the United States Representative Bill PoseyR-Fla., supported $4.9 million for the Indian River Sustainability Center.

“This rural development investment will be used to provide alternative funding to Indian River Sustainability Center LLC. The business was established to own and operate the leachate evaporator, which will be purchased and assembled with the loan proceeds. Once the system is installed and commissioned, the Borrower will begin operation under a 20-year contract with Indian River County. Passing from the treatment plants to the leachate evaporator, the Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal District will eliminate the need for offsite transportation and disposal, and the associated regulatory headwinds, ever-increasing costs, environmental liability and public scrutiny that come with offsite treatment. Evaporating the leachate in question will provide the county with greater cost certainty with respect to managing wastewater on an ongoing basis,” the USDA noted.

Senators and the United States Rep. Gus BilirakisR-Fla., supported the USDA by sending $6.4 million to Atlas Organics CU08 LLC.

“This rural development investment will be used to provide funds to acquire a merchant composting facility that serves commercial customers, Paillis Bay Inc. This facility is a registered source-separated organics processing facility with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection which also operates an affiliate land clearing operation. Bay Mulch Inc. has two locations in Florida: San Antonio and City of Plants both of which will be acquired by Atlas Organics,” the USDA noted.

Kevin Derby
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