Economic Development

Economic Development Loans Reach $1.2 Million Mark

Larry Dempster, Kathy Thatcher, and Patrick Ledger
The AEPCO Board of Directors received special recognition from the City of Benson during a recent board meeting for its support of the USDA Rural Economic Development Loans & Grants program and two low-interest rural development loans totaling $360,000. Funds were by the city to build a 24/7 aviation fueling facility at Benson’s municipal airport. Accepting the key to the city is Kathy Thatcher, center, AEPCO board president. At left is Benson City Vice Mayor Larry Dempster. AzGT CEO Patrick Ledger is at right.
AzGT’s REDLG loan to the Benson Airport for a new fuel farm allows pilots to purchase fuel at any time, encouraging expanded use of the airport.
AzGT has provided REDLG loans to hospitals in Willcox and Benson. Dr. Brower examines Sierra Campbell at the Benson Hospital Care Clinic.

Since 2010, AEPCO has made several loans from grants provided to us by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants (REDLG) program. We administer low-interest loans from revolving funds to business development projects in electric cooperative communities. In 2018, USDA awarded a grant to AEPCO to establish our second revolving loan fund that provides zero- and low-interest loans

  • $182,213: The amount of our latest loan, which helped construct a self-service fuel farm for the airport in Benson, Arizona.
  • $1.2 million: The total amount we have provided in loans to our communities through REDLG. Previous loans helped fund improvements for hospitals in Benson and Willcox, Arizona.

AzGT Partners with to Move Economic Development Forward

AzGT has supported the Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group since SAEDG’s inception in 2012. Now, through AzGT’s work with SAEDG, AzGT is the primary sponsor of, a new economic data and statistic clearing house designed to help the region’s economy thrive.

The site is the brainchild of Dr. Robert Carriera, an economist who conducts economic impact studies. In creating the website, he applied experience gained in gathering data for AzGT and other clients, including local governments and universities. This website makes information available to all businesses, big and small, with the goal of attracting new opportunities.

Study Reveals AzGT Contributions
to Region’s Economy

AzGT recently commissioned a study of our economic impact on our region. 2020 findings included the fact that each job at AzGT creates an additional 1.3 jobs in the regional economy.

  • $285.1 million: That’s how much AzGT generated in 2020 economic activity from spending and sales in rural southeastern Arizona, including Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties. This includes $45.3 million in associated household earnings supporting 516 jobs region-wide.
  • $95.5 million: That’s how much Apache Generating Station alone created in 2020 in spending and sales as part of AzGT’s overall impact. This includes $15.2 million in associated household earnings throughout the region.

Arizona G&T Cooperatives

Apache Generating Station