RIPLEY, Tenn, Jul 19, 2010 -- Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode today announced a federal investment to Ripley for the purchase of equipment needed to meet growing demand at the city's farmers market. The announcement took place at the market downtown.
"Small business and family farms are the economic engines of rural communities, creating jobs and helping maintain a healthy, diversified local economy," said Goode. "Investments made to improve local markets help bring more people to the downtown business district, lowers transportation costs and creates opportunities for families to eat high quality, good tasting locally produced food."
Ripley Mayor Jon Pavletic said the USDA Rural Development grant will be combined with $5,000 from the city to purchase equipment needed to meet the expanding needs of vendors doing business at the Market. According to Pavletic, "The demand for fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers has grown exponentially during the first full season the market has been open."
During the off-season the market pavilion provides space for special events that can help attract customers to downtown retailers year round.
Others participating in the event included Sen. Bob Corker’s Representative Nick Kistenmacher, Lauderdale County Mayor Rod Schuh, Downtown Development Executive Director Perry Williams, Ripley Alderman Larry Shelby, Lauderdale Chamber/ECD's Susan Todd, University of Knoxville Representative Beauton Matthews, Bank of Ripley's Bill Simpson and RD Area Director Arlisa Armstrong and staff Billy Lane.
Rural Development business grants help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders to increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, community infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year Rural Development assisted more than 866,000 Tennessee families and businesses with more than $619 million in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in southwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Jackson at 731-668-2091 ext. 2, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1495, or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
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Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,
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