BUFFALO, ND, Jul 20, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider announced today the Job Development Authority (JDA) in the City of Buffalo received a $70,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to renovate and purchase equipment for the local grocery store.
“This project is a great example of a community banding together to support a local business,” Schneider said. “It is not just a convenience, but a necessity for rural residents to have access to basic amenities such as a grocery store.”
Grant funds will be used to remodel the building and to purchase equipment including: handicap accessible renovations, installing a cash register system including new training software, and making roof repairs. To be more energy efficient, updated equipment such as a cooler, freezer, and a new heating and cooling system will also be purchased. In addition, some of the debt incurred by the JDA when the entity originally bought the building will be paid off. This will put the JDA in a better position to move forward and encourage job growth in the City of Buffalo.
In efforts to keep the grocery store viable and successful, a citizens’ group formed as the Buffalo Food Market, LLC and bought the business from a private owner. The limited liability corporation rents the building from the JDA to operate the business. Under new ownership, the store opened in July and currently employs one full-time manager and three part-time employees as well as supplementing their staff with donated labor from citizens who invested in the grocery business.
The total project cost is estimated at about $99,000 with the JDA providing additional $30,000 in funds. The renovations are expected to be done late summer 2011.
The RBEG program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/nd.