Rural Revitalization & Economic Development

Rural Revitalization & Economic Development
by Steve Foss, CEO

As we look across our territory, we see a mix of rural and urban areas, and from a financial standpoint, these two demographics are vastly different.

However, in Kansas, we consider ourselves rural no matter where you live. There are challenges we are facing; especially in some of our smaller communities, and sometimes thinking about those can be daunting. FreeState Electric Cooperative is continually looking at ways we can bridge gaps between our demographics and how we can provide the same benefits to each member, no matter where they live within our territory.

The betterment of rural life is why economic development matters at FreeState. We want to see growth in our territory because, in the long run, we all benefit. However, growth is more than just jobs. Access is another issue facing our most rural areas. Is there access to basic human needs, healthcare, internet, or culture and experience?

Did you know that FreeState has a unique opportunity for rural-based entrepreneurs or small businesses? FreeState has access to loans through the RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LOAN AND GRANT PROGRAM, OR REDLG. This program is helping small communities and businesses across the country. FreeState looks at potential projects with a close eye. We want to benefit communities, our members, and the cooperative.

Another way we are helping to strengthen our communities and promoting the support of local and small businesses is the launch of the CO-OP CONNECTIONS Card program. Every member is eligible to participate, and any company, too. This program gives FreeState members access to national discounts through the cooperative network, nation-wide and locally. There are more than 27,000 businesses signed up across the country.

We hope that you take advantage of these discounts, and small businesses take advantage of joining the connections card network. Businesses throughout FreeState territory that are interested in joining this network can contact us about this free program.

There is more information within this month’s centerspread on how to access these discounts and more information about how the program can help you save money and build connections within the community.

As always, if you have questions about this content, we encourage you to contact us at 800-794-1989 or email customerservice@freestate.coop.