TIPTONVILLE, Tenn., Dec 14, 2011 -- As the construction of the Port of Cates Landing moves forward, the job of recruiting businesses to the area is gaining steam too. With the help of USDA Rural Development (RD) that job will get a little easier.
RD Area Director Harriet Cannon and Lake County Mayor Macie Roberson today joined Reelfoot Chamber Executive Director Marcia Mills to announce federal funding for the Chamber to develop a comprehensive business recruitment and retention strategy for the Lake County Industrial Site near the Port.
"Small business is the engine that drives local economies," said Cannon. "Investments of time and money from all the partners in this regional effort will provide the tools to build a healthy, diversified local economy that will benefit West Tennessee for generations."
The RD grant of $10,000 will be combined with $5,000 in contributions from West Tennessee Industrial Association (WTIA) and $5,000 from Gibson Electric Membership Corporation (GEMC). The $20,000 total investment will build on regional strengths including those of existing companies that have expressed interest in the lower cost of barge transportation.
Rural Development business programs provide assistance to rural businesses directly through loans and loan-guarantees, and indirectly through local governments and non-profit organizations that provide business development assistance, job training, feasibility studies, technical assistance or improve business infrastructure.
Others participating in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Representative Matt Varino, Rep. Stephen Fincher’s Representative Lou Ann White, Port Marketing Committee Chair Kerry Brannon, WITA representative Mike Philpot, GEMC representative Emily Sullivan, Tennessee Valley Authority representative Chuck Marquis and RD Specialist Van Wylie.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year the agency assisted tens of thousands of Tennessee families and businesses, investing more than $737 million through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in northwest Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Union City at 731-885-6480 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1497 or visit us online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272