Tifton, Mar 14, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development Offers Job Creation, Economic Development Support To Local Business and Community Leaders
USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Quinton Robinson today met with more than 150 rural entrepreneurs and community leaders to discuss ways Rural Development can help rural businesses create jobs and spur economic development.
“This meeting reinforces the objectives of job creation and economic development through collaboration such as that employed by USDA’s recently announced Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge,” Robinson said. “In the Rural Jobs Accelerator, USDA RD and the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration are providing grants to local organizations that will form partnerships with businesses and other entities to implement regional job creation strategies. Rural Development is excited about continuing its long-standing partnership with state and local groups that are best suited to address local and regional economic needs,” Robinson said.
The entrepreneurs and community leaders at today’s Capital Resources Conference met with organizations and a variety of resource partners who plan to provide funding for economic development and related projects. Many of the participants brought completed business plans with them and interviewed on-on-one with the funding partners. “Rural entities are empowered with information to harness avenues of financing they may not have been aware of,” Robinson added. Rural Development, the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs collaborated to plan the conference.
USDA Rural Development has a long history of financing job creation, infrastructure, community facility projects and housing throughout Georgia. For example, in 2010 Rural Development partnered with OneGeorgia Authority, Washington County and the City of Sandersville to enhance the Kaolin Field Airport in Sandersville. Rural Development provided a $67,118 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to furnish the interior of the terminal, and OneGeorgia Authority’s $500,000 equity grant assisted with the construction of a 4,200-square-foot terminal building. The County and City provided $250,000 to complete the Kaolin Field improvements. This project is an example of the kind of partnership USDA Rural Development will replicate across the state through the Rural Jobs Accelerator and through meeting with businesses and community leaders such as those who gathered in Tifton today.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. 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. For more information, call the state office at (706) 546-2162, or go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/GAHome.html
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