2023 Year in Review: REED Fund Reaches $125 Million in Loans and $1 Billion in Project Impact

2023 Year in Review: REED Fund Reaches $125 Million in Loans and $1 Billion in Project Impact Main Photo

17 Mar 2024

2023 was a significant year for the Rural Electric Economic Development, Inc. Fund. We are proud to have reached $100 million in REED loans originated which has generated $1 billion in total project impact. Our loans have benefited more than 10,000 jobs across several rural communities in South Dakota and Minnesota.  

“We take pride in stepping back and looking at the overall impact of our funded projects,” says Eric Fosheim, Economic Development Manager at the REED Fund. “For every $1.25 distributed in loans, we see $10 invested as a total for the projects. We support our neighbors, but they also do a lot for themselves.”

The REED Fund continues to make an impact across the region as local leaders seek support for housing, daycare, and other workforce projects. Learn more about its 2023 accomplishments and what the loan officers at the REED Fund are planning for 2024.  

2023 Capital in the REED Fund 

Hitting $125 million in loans originated is a significant milestone and reflects the hard work of the REED team since 1996. However, 2023 was also a particularly strong year with a significant amount of funds moving in and out.

  • Capital repaid: $5.075 million
  • Capital drawn: $1.082 million
  • Amount loaned in 2023: $13.204 million 
  • Amount loaned at 0% interest: $936 thousand

Our loan officers worked tirelessly throughout the year to approve funds for viable projects and help community programs move forward.

“In its 27 years of existence, we have seen a 1.5% loan loss,” says Fosheim. “That is very low and is a direct reflection of the REED Fund team doing its due diligence, securing collateral, and working closely with borrowers. This has created a strong loan fund.”   

2023 Loan Impact

The REED Fund is proud to have a direct impact on the region and you can see how these funds support South Dakota and Minnesota when you dig deeper into the loan approvals. Here are some fast facts:

  • Loans closed in 2023: 21
  • Loans closed with a 0% interest rate: 4
  • Outstanding loans: $42.86 million
  • Loan commitments at year-end: $8.2 million
  • Jobs impacted: 348

The loans issued by the REED Fund in 2023 are just one source of financing for applicants working on economic development projects. The total amount invested by all parties exceeded $71 million in 2023. 

“Rising interest rates and inflation increased our application volume this year,” says Fosheim. “People turned to the REED Fund because of its favorable interest rates and reputation in the community.”

Get to Know the REED Fund Loan Recipients

There are real people behind the numbers and finances reported by the REED Fund. Here are a few stories from 2023 that highlight the impact our loans make. 

Medical Facilities in Rural South Dakota Receive Financing for Renovations 

Multiple hospitals, healthcare facilities, and assisted living facilities have received support from the REED Fund in the past year. By improving regional healthcare, residents don’t have to travel as far for treatment. They can get the support they need without leaving home. 

South Dakota Community Has Its ‘Pulse’ on Childcare, Workforce Development

This project in Vermillion, South Dakota connects childcare and workforce development. The Pulse of Life Kids Center will provide daycare services to residents so they don’t have to worry about their kids while they are working. Kids will have a fun, safe place to stay that is also affordable for parents. 

New Go-Kart Track and Mini Golf Course Means More Fun Times Ahead at Fun Time Adventures

Investing in the region means supporting quality-of-life projects for kids and adults alike. The REED Fund made it possible for Fun Time Adventures in Fort Pierre, South Dakota to get a new go-kart track, mini golf course, and outdoor maze. Residents can relax at this entertainment space and visitors to South Dakota can stop in to race around the course.  

These are just a few samples of what the REED Fund helped accomplish in 2023 as regional leaders work to make their communities stronger. 

Welcome Meeker Cooperative  

The REED Fund welcomed one new member in 2023. Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association has been in operation since 1935. This member-owned non-profit serves six central Minnesota counties: Meeker, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Renville, Stearns, and Wright. There are more than 8,800 residential accounts that receive electricity and other services through the Meeker Cooperative.

We are confident that its values of being member-driven, community-focused, and forward-thinking will make Meeker Cooperative a good fit for the REED Fund.  

Looking Ahead to 2024

2023 was a big year for this organization, but 2024 will be bigger. The REED Fund has already committed to funding 10 loans worth more than $9.5 million to support local projects. These loans range from volunteer fire departments to city infrastructure and housing projects. The REED Fund will continue to meet the needs of its local townships and counties.  

“Coming into 2024, the REED Fund has a lot of momentum,” says Fosheim. “We are looking forward to closing on several strong community development projects that directly benefit the people who live here.”

Keep up with the REED Fund and the great work it is doing in the region. There’s already a lot happening this year. If you have a project in mind, request an application.