WASHINGTON, D.C., Jun 17, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today kicked off National Small Business Week by highlighting USDA's actions to help rural small businesses create jobs, get access to capital and spur economic growth. He also announced the selection of recipients for USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grants. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.
"Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in small towns and rural communities, just as they are in our biggest cities," Vilsack said. "USDA supports small businesses by providing job training, business development opportunities, strategic community planning and other resources. We're focused on making sure that Main Street businesses have the tools they need to grow."
In California, three Rural Business Enterprise Grants were awarded to Native American tribes.
• Big Sandy Rancheria of Mono Indians of California (Auberry, Calif.) received a $25,960 grant to conduct a feasibility study to help tribal members grow and sell organic food to the local community.
• Fort Bidwell Indian Community (Fort Bidwell, Calif.) received a $12,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study for a commercial fish farm.
• Yurok Indian Housing Authority (Klamath, Calif.) received a $60,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study and business plan for Kohte'li Foundation.
In total, Secretary Vilsack announced 54 awards in 21 states. Please click here for a complete list of Rural Business Enterprise Grants awarded today.
Rural small businesses are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development office for information about available assistance. A list of California offices is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/CA-Contacts.html.
The funding announced today under the Rural Business Enterprise Grants program will help support the Obama Administration's vision by providing rural communities with resources to support small businesses, improve public facilities, and create new, sustainable jobs. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant.
President Obama's plan to revitalize the rural economy has brought about historic investment over the past four years – including in America's small towns and rural communities. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.