Morgantown, WV, Feb 01, 2011 -- Audio clip available at:
Release 4. USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager today announced that 45 states, the Western Pacific region and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico will benefit from funding made available under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program (RBEG).
“The funding announced today represents the Obama Administration's ongoing efforts to create economic and job opportunities in rural areas by ensuring that strategic investments are made in our small towns and cities,” Tonsager said “Rural businesses drive community revitalization by providing products and services to local residents as well as throughout the country and world. Projects like these spur important economic development and strengthen communities across the nation.”
For example, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation in Laurel, Ky., has been selected to receive a $499,000 grant. This funding will be used to establish a revolving loan fund for small and emerging businesses located in a 14-county service area. This proposed project is expected to create 52 and retain 10 jobs in the area.
In Cass, Iowa, the Southwest Iowa Planning Council has been selected to receive a $95,000 grant. The funding will be used to establish a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private businesses in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Montgomery, Page and Shelby counties. This project is expected to save or create 11 jobs. In both projects, the revolving loan funds bring important access to capital to lend to rural small businesses.
The RBEG program helps to finance and facilitate the development of new and existing businesses in rural America. Funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.
More information about this program is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html.
Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement, and is not provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The following is a complete list of organizations that have been selected to receive RBEG grants. A total of 61 awards were announced.
• Poarch Band of Creek Indians - $58,831 grant to establish a revolving loan fund to assist tribal members who own small and emerging businesses within Escambia, Monroe, Baldwin, and Mobile counties in Alabama and Escambia County in Florida. Project will create 14 jobs.
• City of Monroeville - $150,000 grant to purchase, renovate and restore a historic downtown building into a full service restaurant. The restaurant will create needed jobs in an underserved rural county with an unemployment rate of 21 percent. This project will create 16 jobs.
• Moenkopi Developers Corporation, Inc. - $199,500 grant to assist with site preparation costs including the creation of a structural concrete pad for the purchase and installation of an additional potable water storage tank and connection hardware to solve a fire suppression and periodic water shortage problem experienced by the small businesses and the community of the Upper Village of Moenkopi on the Hopi Reservation. The project would sustain 100 jobs.
• University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff - $167,000 grant to renovate UAPB’s Agriculture Demonstration and Outreach Center for a Value-Added Product Laboratory. It is projected that this project will encourage the development of two to four businesses and anticipated to create 10 jobs.
• Sacramento Financial Conference dba: Golden Capital Network - $99,500 grant to provide technical assistance to identify and assess capital needs of growth companies and assist companies in obtaining capital through equity and debt financing. This project will primarily target small companies in the community of Oroville a high unemployment community by helping provide much needed capital for growth and expansion leading to job creation. Identified companies will be provided technical assistance for capital needs marketing, advertising, human resources/recruiting, and & Web services necessary to take the next step for growth and expansion. The project will create 59 jobs.
• Merced County Economic Development Corporation - $198,194 grant to provide technical assistance, planning and counseling services to new and emerging businesses in the eligible cities and unincorporated communities in Merced County. The project will create 23 jobs.
• Colorado Big Country RC&D - $10,100 grant will be used for a feasibility study for business expansion. The owner of Holy Cow Packing Plant currently operates out of a building at his home and cannot meet the demands of local ranchers and hunters. Most producers must drive more than 100 miles to have their animals processed by a USDA approved site. The feasibility study will help the owner obtain a USDA-RD guaranteed loan to expand the business and create 11 new jobs.
• Cooperative Development Institute - $49,749 grant to provide technical assistance to private business enterprises; training in connection with the technical assistance for the formation or enhancement of several state cooperatives. The funding is expected to create or save 15 jobs.
• Town of Havana - $64,091 grant to provide equipment to be leased to a small and emerging business.
• East Central Technical College - $93,925 grant to purchase two pieces of medical equipment that would train health care professionals in acute care medical situations. It is estimated that 117 jobs will be created or saved with the assistance of this grant.
• Big Island RC&D Council, Inc. - $45,056 grant to assist Dutch Hawaiian Cheesery with the financing of machinery and equipment for a new cheesery facility located in Honokaa on the Island of Hawaii. Project is projected to create six jobs within the first three years of operation and provide a new market for the dairy industry.
• Region IV Development Association, Inc. - $99,000 grant to create a micro-loan Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to expand financing options for rural small and emerging private business enterprises, within their eight-county designated economic development area. The project has a high potential to save and create jobs by providing additional financing options for the micro-loan market and is expected to create 10 jobs.
• Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership - $99,000 grant to purchase a building and develop a small business incubator facility. It is expected to create 50 jobs.
• Warren County Local Economic Development Organization - $75,000 grant to expand a successful revolving loan fund that serves small and emerging businesses in rural Warren County and create 10 jobs.
• Southwest Iowa Planning Council - $95,000 grant to establish a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private businesses in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Montgomery, Page and Shelby counties. This project is expected to save or create 11 jobs.
• Bedford Area Economic Development Corporation (BAEDC) - $37,250 grant to establish a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private businesses in the Bedford, area. The funding will help create six jobs.
• Altamont Community Improvement Association, Inc. - $150,000 grant to establish a revolving loan fund and provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses in an around Altamont and Labette counties. Labette County currently has an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, which is 37 percent higher than the state rate of 6.3 percent. This fund will provide much needed capital to those businesses in the area and help to create and retain jobs in this rural community. The project is expected to create 15 jobs.
• Dighton-Lane County Economic Development, Inc. - $99,000 grant to install infrastructure in a newly developed industrial park on the east side of the city of Dighton. They expect to assist at least three businesses with the potential to create 12 jobs.
• Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation - $499,000 grant to establish a Revolving Loan Fund for small and emerging businesses located in a 14-county service area. The initial recipient, Stardust Ventures, LLC, aka Stardust Cruisers, will be provided with working capital to start another line product line for the production of factory built, energy efficient and affordable housing units. The proposed project will create 52 and retain 10 jobs in the area.
• Louisiana Tech University - $199,956 grant will be used by Louisiana Tech University, administered by the Technology Business Development Center, to provide technical assistance and training services to Louisiana’s small and emerging private business enterprises in 17 rural parishes all of which are located in the Lower Mississippi Delta Commission area. These parishes are also located in special emphasis and persistent poverty areas, and one parish is located in a Community Adjustment Investment Program area. This project will create 60 jobs.
• The Northern Forest Center, Inc. - $86,330 grant to provide training and other technical assistance to small and emerging tourism business enterprises through new local training networks in Aroostook, Penobscot, and Oxford counties, and a second round of investment in ongoing training in its original pilot counties – Franklin, Piscataquis, and Washington. The funding is expected to save 254 jobs and create 52.
• Narraguagus Snowmobile Club - $72,000 grant to assist with the acquisition of snowmobile trail-grooming equipment, which will facilitate the development of small and emerging private business enterprises in this very rural area of Maine. The project is expected to create 10 jobs.
• Cooperative Development Institute - $37,313 grant to provide technical assistance to private business enterprises; training in connection with the technical assistance and for conducting market research. USDA funding is expected to create or save 20 jobs.
• Windustry - $275,000 grant to help provide assistance to facilitate wind development projects.
• Northwest Minnesota Foundation - $99,000 grant to provide technical assistance to small and emerging private business enterprises. Initial financing actions are expected to result in 39 jobs being created and/or retained.
• City of Baudette - $99,999 grant to capitalize a revolving loan fund to assist small and emerging private business enterprises. Initial financing actions are expected to result in eight jobs being created and/or retained.
• Winston Community Development, Inc. - $210,000 grant to develop a Revolving Loan Fund to assist small and emerging private business enterprises in Winston County. The funding is expected to create six jobs.
• Missouri Incutech Foundation - $200,000 grant to complete a feasibility study for Show Me Energy which meets the definition of a small and emerging business to see about establishing a green energy resource through pellet production. Show Me Energy is located in Centerview, Missouri which has population of 249. USDA funding is expected to save 10 jobs and create 25 new jobs.
• Ravalli County Economic Development Authority - $20,000 grant to pursue a proven, multi-phase approach to commercializing a control method for the Mountain Pine Bark Beetle and Southern Pine Bark Beetle. Project will create two and retain one job.
• Beartooth RC&D - $20,000 grant will be used for technical assistance for market expansion with planning and sustainable promotion of products and website design. This project is expected to create two and retain one job.
• Village of Cody - $95,000 grant to construct a 3,000-square foot straw building to house the “Student Education and Economic Development in the Sandhills” project, a grocery store, business incubator and facilitate as the entrepreneurship training and incubator center for Cody and surrounding area. Fifteen jobs are expected to be created.
Nebraska and South Dakota
• Center for Rural Affairs - $99,000 grant to facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses and increase the number of jobs created by these small and emerging rural businesses. This goal will be achieved through training and technical assistance provided through an entrepreneurial event, MarketPlace: Opening Doors for Success. The Nebraska MarketPlace is a proven vehicle for developing small rural businesses and creating jobs. It has been held in Nebraska since 2007 averaging over 500 in attendance every year. The project is expected to create 42 jobs.
Nebraska and Kansas
• McCook Economic Development Corporation - $56,030 grant to provide technical assistance to new and existing rural small businesses through a business coaching program. The geographic distribution of funds will be to seven counties south of the I-80 corridor in southwest Nebraska (five counties: Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Red Willow) and northwest Kansas (two counties: Decatur, Rawlins). The project is expected to create 27 and retain five jobs.
• Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation - $49,900 grant to provide technical assistance to small rural business clients in the counties of Cape May, Cumberland and Salem. The project is expected to create 205 jobs.
• Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico - $99,999 grant to provide intense, one-on-one small business development counseling, training and technical assistance for up to 12 child care and other small business. This project is expected to create 18 new and retain seven existing jobs.
• Turtle Mountain Community Development Financial Institution, Inc. - $99,991 grant to provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs to start up new businesses or expand existing businesses on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in an effort to establish a reservation-based economy and create 21 jobs.
• Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments - $99,000 grant will be used by the “Willamette Food Processors Consortia” to implement a collaborative effort designed to bring together local businesses and business development partners focusing on emerging and expanding food processing enterprises. The goal is to assist these businesses to grow and increase employment opportunities. This grant will be used to help create 10 jobs.
Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana
• Climate Solutions - $80,136 grant to create an on-line community that will connect experts with those interested in developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Participants will include farmers, small businesses and other landowners; as well as public agencies and lenders.
• Tioga County Development Corporation - $99,900 grant to create a revolving loan fund which will be used to provide more opportunities for low interest loans to support service businesses related to the energy and gas industry that are located in Tioga County. USDA funds are expected to create 10 jobs and assist six businesses.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
• Universidad de Puerto Rico – Mayagüez - $307,704 grant to develop a business model for a small agro industrial enterprise that enables rural communities to add value to their crops and comply with regulatory, quality and safety restriction while remaining economically viable.
• Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance - $199,900 grant to provide technical assistance and training programs to improve economic and workforce development in a four-county area of SC. They will contract with the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie Leadership Institute (USCSLI) to assist them in carrying out these initiatives. USDA funds are expected to help 20 businesses; create 20 jobs and retain 507 jobs.
• Carolina Foothills Artisan Center - $90,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study of the potential arts and heritage product market for the expansion of tourism through development of an Artisan Center in communities in an eight county area (Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union). This project will create an anticipated 100 jobs.
• Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council - $80,000 grant to will be used by WCTE-TV for the “Live Green & Prosper” campaign, which is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of buying fresh, locally produced foods and to develop a local food economy. USDA funding for the project is expected to retain 100 jobs.
• Snow College Foundation - $97,999 grant to facilitate the development of the Rural Business Outreach Program to more effectively extend services into all regions within the six-county area. Utah Small Business Development Center at Snow College, in collaboration with the Central Utah Business Resource Center will partner with six county and local county economic development directors to provide rural businesses with economic development services such as business counseling, training and business resources media kits. The funding is expected to create 16 jobs.
• Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation, Inc. - $99,999 grant to construct a farmers’ market. This proposal will provide a permanent pavilion which can be used year-around for the citizens of Pittsylvania County and surrounding areas.
• Town of Shoreham - $59,457 grant to conduct a feasibility study in bulk processing and quick/long-term freezing to allow more regionally produced foods to be used in local institutions. The project will include market analysis, operational design of a USDA approved facility and financial strategy to convert a former apple storage warehouse to a multipurpose regional food center. This project is expected to create eight jobs.
• Town of Poultney - $31,800 grant to fund technical assistance in business planning, legal structure determination, and marketing plans for the Stone Valley Community Market in downtown Poultney, Vermont. This rural community has shown overwhelming support for a “locally owned, community grown” food market that would bring local, organic, and sustainable food and product options to the town. Five new jobs are anticipated, and more than eight local area farms would have an additional year-round distribution site for food.
• Farm Power - $90,000 grant to develop an automated control system and automated feedstock delivery system for an on-farm scale thermochemical technology to convert Kentucky bluegrass straw to bio-syngas. This project is being completed in formal collaboration with USDA-ARS and is in the final stages before it is ready to be replicated for commercialization. USDA funding for this project is expected to create seven jobs.
The Western Pacific
• CNMI Department of Commerce - $85,373 grant will be used for economic planning in conjunction with the 2nd Economic Restoration Summit (ERS) that will further assist with industry development, including the technical components of developing those industries. This project is expected to create 10 jobs.
• Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone of WV, Inc. - $200,000 grant to further capitalize an existing revolving loan fund. The initial loan will be to the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad Coop with the purpose of constructing a sewage treatment facility for a campground business located near Dundon in Clay County.
• Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation - $74,000 grant to establish a revolving loan fund to provide gap financing at a low interest rate and flexible terms for small businesses wishing to expand, start-up or relocate in southern Ashland and Northern Price Counties. The project is expected to create at least nine new jobs.
Through its Rural Development mission area, USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation’s capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).