Chris Larson, general manager at Clay-Union Electric, presents a check to Kelsey Collier-Wise, executive director of United Way of Vermillion.

The United Way of Vermillion was awarded financing in June of 2019 when Clay-Union Electric issued a Rural Electric Economic Development, or REED, loan to finance the new Community Connections Center, in Vermillion. REED partnered with CorTrust Bank of Vermillion on the financing package.

Working closely with local banks, other loan funds, state and federal agencies to finance community and economic development projects, Clay-Union Electric’s REED Fund provides gap financing to help start and expand businesses, create jobs and help communities improve facilities, services and infrastructure.

Chris Larson, general manager of Clay-Union Electric, says that providing funding to the United Way is a great opportunity to assist with streamlining a local organization in the community which can positively impact the lives of many. “In today’s economy, employment and economic development continues to be challenging, so being able to assist through the REED Fund is very gratifying for us, knowing we are making a difference in our small communities and rural areas.”

The United Way of Vermillion purchased a building in downtown Vermillion that used to be the home of a hardware store. The building is now the Community Connections Center (CCC) and will be home to several community programs along with office space for the United Way. The 7,200 square foot building will be a one stop shop for programs such as the Welcome Table, the Vermillion Food Pantry, Vermillion’s Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and the backpack program and other organizations in the community.

Approximately 81 percent of REED’s lending is established in communities of less than 5,000 people and 98 percent of REED-financed projects have local ownership.

“One of Clay-Union Electric’s core principles is Commitment to Community and the REED Fund is a good example of how we support local economic development,” said Larson.

If you are planning a new business or looking to expand, or if your community needs financing for facilities or services, please contact Clay-Union Electric Cooperative at 605-624-2673 for an application or REED at 605 256-8015 for more information.  


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