20 new jobs to come to Pharr and Donna

Hidalgo County holds the highest unemployment rate in Texas.

"We're struggling, but so is everybody else, said Congressman Ruben Hinojosa of District 15. To combat the numbers, the USDA is pumping federal money into Pharr and Donna.

It's part of a revolving loan fund.

That means small businesses will get much needed financing.

When the businesses repay the loans, that money will then be lent to another small business.

"And they will be using them to stimulate the economy and try to stimulate jobs, said Hinojosa.

At a meeting Thursday, the cities of Pharr and Donna each received over $100,000.

That money is meant to give new and existing businesses the financial boost they may not be able to get from the bank.

"As we all know the economy has been struggling somewhat, and community banks aren't lending funds for small business development, said Paco Valentin, state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the businesses develop, Hinojosa said more people are expected to be hired.

"They can employ two to three to four to ten people and when you add it all up that is what helps drive the unemployment rate, said Congressman Hinojosa.

Isaac Meleceo opened a bakery in Donna just five months ago.

He told Action 4 News extra funding is an ingredient his business could benefit from.

He said the need for jobs in Donna is evident in his customers because most pay with food stamps.

The USDA grant money is now in the hands of Pharr's and Donna's Economic Development Corporations.

Businesses interested in getting their hands on some of it must employ 50 or fewer employees.

They cannot make more than $1,000,000 a year.

To apply for funding, contact the Pharr or Donna Economic Development Corporations.

Pharr EDC: (956) 702-5335 or

Donna: (956) 464-3314.