February 27, 2018

Duckworth, Durbin Announce $200,000 to Support Economic Development in Western Illinois’s Rural Communities


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced a $200,000 federal grant to support community cooperative projects throughout Western Illinois. The funding comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development, which provides support to projects that help improve the quality of life and economy in rural communities.

“This funding will help provide communities in Western Illinois with the resources they need to support cooperative entrepreneurs and start-ups,” Duckworth said. “By helping to provide cooperatives with more assistance and expand community spaces, we can also grow local economies and boost our entire state’s economy. I’ll continue working with Senator Durbin to secure more investments that support rural development across our state.”

“This federal funding will boost Western Illinois communities by helping cooperatives and other small businesses start up and succeed through technical assistance and training,” Durbin said. “I will keep working with Senator Duckworth to ensure that our state’s rural communities have access to these critical federal investments that drive economic growth.”

This grant will provide technical assistance for cooperatives in Western Illinois through the Illinois Cooperative Development Center (ICDC), a program of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. The project aims to give rural communities the necessary tools to succeed in cooperative entrepreneurship through workshops and training activities. It will enable existing cooperatives to support other start-ups and increase the product and knowledge capacity at the Illinois Cooperative Development Center.

USDA Rural Development invests in infrastructure projects across the country through loans and grants to unserved and underserved rural communities. These resources provide much-needed infrastructure improvements that help business development, homeownership, community services, public safety and healthcare and high-speed internet access.