Economic Development

Supporting the Community through Economic Development

Coast Electric Power Association supports economic development in the communities it serves in two ways.

  1. Building infrastructure necessary to reliably support business and industry needs today and tomorrow.
  2. The cooperative works aggressively to match prospective economic development projects with U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development loans and grants.

USDA Rural Development Loans

The purpose of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Economic Development (RED) Loan and Grant program is to leverage private and other public funding to expand the economic base of rural communities. The RED loan program provides loans to local utilities which in turn pass through the loans to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in the areas Coast Electric serves

As designated rural communities, Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River counties are eligible to benefit from the federal funding.

CEPA Fund Business Development Loan Program

As a result of many years of successful local economic development projects through the Rural Economic Development Grant program, Coast Electric Power now has another funding mechanism to support local government, private citizens and municipality’s economic development projects, the CEPA Fund. This fact sheet gives you a quick and concise overview of what is available.

The purpose of the CEPA Fund Business Development Revolving Loan Program is not to compete with local lending institutions, rather the intent of this business development loan program is to stimulate private investments and complement local lenders for the creation of jobs and wealth in Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River counties. Projects to be considered for this program must create or retain employment or provide needed community facilities and services. These types of projects include industrial/commercial development, community infrastructure, private business, community facilities, medical facilities and training/education facilities, to name a few. Each project must meet certain criteria as listed in this loan checklist before a project will be considered eligible for funding from the CEPA Fund Revolving Loan Program.

Applications will be received and reviewed during designated funding round time periods, which typically occur semi-annually. For more information on the CEPA Fund Business Development Loan or the Rural Development Loans contact Russ Carothers at (228) 363-7278 or

Guy Johnson,
Vice President of Economic Development
(228) 363-7329