Potter, Nebraska, Jun 21, 2013 -- Potter residents celebrated the grand opening of Potter’s Market and General Store in Potter, Nebraska today, the first grocery in the community of about 400 after a previous store closed. Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director and staff attended to present the Potter Historical Foundation with a certificate commemorating its use of federal funding to construct the business incubator.
The Potter Historical Foundation received $85,000 through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program of USDA Rural Development. The Potter Historical Foundation contributed $89,750. Funds were used to purchase a vacant building and equipment to be used as a business incubator.
The Potter Historical Foundation, local fundraising and a volunteer community workforce helped repair the building. The work included making the facility handicapped accessible, installation of new flooring, new lighting, new signage and repairs to coolers and freezers, fresh paint and general cleaning. The building has been leased to a newly formed cooperative to reopen as a grocery store.
Potter’s Market and General Store is the initial business to occupy the incubator and will serve customers in Cheyenne, Banner and Kimball Counties in Nebraska, Weld and Logan Counties in Colorado. The incubator project will create an estimated four jobs. The previous grocery store was closed after more than 100 years of service. The loss of a local grocery store significantly impacts the elderly, handicapped and residents who lack transportation, causing a food desert for the local farm and ranch communities. Potter’s Market and General Store will provide an essential service as a general store, offering not only grocery items but also supplies for summer yard needs, a hardware section, snacks and BIG RED paraphernalia.
A grocery store in Potter reduces the distance residents travel for their groceries, keeps the revenue at home for the local economy and offers access to local foods in a food desert.
The Rural Business Enterprise Grant program provides grants that facilitate and finance the development of small and emerging rural, private business enterprises by providing technical assistance; acquiring land, buildings and infrastructure that enhance business development and by establishing revolving loan funds.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in 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.
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