Mullen, Nebraska, Jul 12, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development funding of $38,497 to the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway of Mullen, Nebraska, leveraged with $40,388 state and applicant funds, will facilitate and finance the development of small and emerging rural, private business enterprises.
“Today most of the area that the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway services has a small and diminishing population and according to U.S Census Bureau data, lies in some of the poorest per capita income counties in the United States,” stated President Tom Witt, Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway. “Thanks to state, county and local partnerships, along with Rural Development, this project will assist to build capacity and begin to implement an extensive long–term strategic plan of tourism marketing and business development that is desperately needed.”
Rural Development funds will be used to hire a facilitator to assist the organization of volunteers to implement business expansion through extensive marketing and promotion, and finding new opportunities for existing businesses to expand on in order to increase revenues and to create and/or save up to 37 jobs. The eight county service area is Blaine, Custer, Garden, Grant, Hooker, Sheridan, Sherman, and Thomas. Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway’s principal office is located in Hyannis, Nebraska.
“The Scenic Byway (Hwy 2) has many businesses located on this route, and the new facilitator will be able to partner with these businesses in order to build their exposure to the travelers, directly benefitting those small rural communities” said Area Specialist Kelley Messenger, USDA Rural Development.
The project was funded through the USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant program. For more information contact Kelley Messenger (308) 237-3118 ext. 1120.