News Release
Release No.STELPRD4017498
ContactKatherine Belcher859.224.7306
Lexington, KY, Jul 20, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern is in Vanceburg today to announce funding for a local non-profit group to promote job creation and business development.

Rural Development recently awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant in the amount of $75,000 to the Center for Appalachian Philanthropy.

“The Obama Administration and USDA are committed to helping rural small businesses grow, and to providing the technical support needed to spark sustainable job creation,” Fern said.

Rural Development technical assistance funds will be used by the Corporation to encourage entrepreneurial activity for residents in the Lewis County area. The proposal will focus on educating and providing support to:

    • eight incarcerated men on establishing small businesses in Appalachian trades (i.e. woodworking) through a 9-month entrepreneurial training program;

    • 20 existing and prospective Appalachian artisans in income generation, marketing resources, skill enhancement, funding opportunities and networking; and

    • 15 women who will establish businesses in the Bed and Breakfast, culinary and tourism industry.

Last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in rural communities.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans and has provided broad support for rural communities. The Obama Administration has set goals of modernizing infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas, and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America’s rural communities are repopulating, self-sustaining and thriving economically.

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 existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in 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.


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, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).