CLEVELAND and CHARLESTON, TN., Jul 16, 2013 -- In mid-June, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a number of Rural Business Enterprise Grants aimed at creating jobs and spurring economic growth across the state.
In two separate events Monday USDA Rural Development (RD) State Director Bobby Goode and other local leaders announced locally the funding that will assist the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Tennessee Historical Society and the Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator.
"Investments like these help to secure the future of our rural areas while preserving the past," said Goode.
"Taking time to care for the history of our local communities is just as much a backbone to the success of rural economies as growing small businesses."
The Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society was awarded $20,000 to purchase equipment for the Heritage Visitor’s Center to assist tourism-based and related businesses.
The Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator in Cleveland will receive $6,576 to conduct a two-part technical assistance project aimed at expanding services to growing businesses.
Rural Development business programs help local governments and non-profit organizations improve 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.
Others participating in the events included Sen. Bob Corker’s Representative Claire McVay, Rep. Scott DesJarlais Representative Shirley Pond, State Rep. Eric Watson, Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis, Charleston Mayor Walter Goode, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Chattanooga Area Director David Collett and staff.
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 four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 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 the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Southeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Chattanooga at 423-756-2239, toll free at 1-800-342-3149 extension 1492, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).