KNOXVILLE, Jul 10, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development Area Director Joe Woody recently announced five rural business grants for projects serving people and businesses in 15 rural East Tennessee counties. Projects announced today serve rural communities in Campbell, Roane and all 11 northeast Tennessee Counties.
"Small businesses create jobs and help diversify and maintain a healthy local economy," said Woody. "At USDA we partner with local governments and regional organizations to invest in infrastructure, training and other business assistance that makes it easier for the private sector to compete and prosper."
First Tennessee Development District will update and distribute the Regional Directory of Manufacturers. Included in the update will be about 900 businesses from 11 Tennessee Counties including Carter, Claiborne, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington; three Virginia Counties including Lee, Scott and Washington; and Avery County, North Carolina. The directory is a development tool that makes it easier for companies in the region to do business with other local firms. The last comprehensive update was completed in 2000. This multi-state regional business development project is funded in part by a grant of $25,000 from USDA and $17,628 in funding from FTDD. www.ftdd.org
Campbell County will construct a railroad spur from an existing nearby railroad line into the Oswego Industrial Park in Jellico, Tenn. The spur will increase the competitiveness of the industrial park by improving cost-effective transportation options for the new tenant Montclair Technologies and other businesses considering expansion or a move to the region. This regional business development project is funded in part by a grant of $31,000 from USDA and $501,660 in funding from other sources.
In Hancock County, Of One Accord Ministry will add to its services new electric and plumbing certification training classes for low-income adult workers. Of One Accord is a cooperative effort among area churches, agencies and businesses to identify and meet community needs for families in the Hancock and Hawkins County region. This regional worker training project is funded in part with a grant of $30,000 from USDA and $53,750 in funding from other sources. http://ofoneaccordministry.org
In Johnson County, Appalachian Native Plants (ANP) has launched the Native Plant Production and Preservation Project to help producers diversify their farm income while helping preserve plants native to the region. Staff will provide workshops, tours and training for individuals, businesses and organizations interested in producing and marketing native ornamental horticulture crops over the course of about 18 months. For details on participating in the program contact ANP President J. Jackson in Mountain City at 423-571-2227 or email through the company website, below. Other partners in the program include University of Tennessee Extension, Appalachian State University Sustainable Development Program and the Johnson County. This regional business development project is funded in part with a grant of $21,000 from USDA and $31,030 in funding from ANP. www.appalachiannativeplants.com
Roane County will construct improved signage at the entrance to the Roane Regional Business and Technology Park. The improvements will increase visibility and better promote existing businesses and aid the County in recruiting new businesses to the area. This regional business development project is funded in part by a $25,000 grant from USDA and $6,250 in funding from the County. http://roanealliance.org/park_list/59
Rural Development business programs help local governments and non-profit organizations improve local business infrastructure and promote job growth. Business loans provide needed financing for rural businesses and loan-guarantees are also available to help private lenders increase the pool of investment capital available for business start-up, modernization and expansion in eligible rural areas.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last three years the agency has assisted at least 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $2.5 Billion through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in East Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Knoxville at 865-523-3338, ext. 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1491, or in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 ext. 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1490 or visit us online at ㋰§Ⓦ〣" 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 TDD (615) 783-1397.