Bangor, ME, Jun 25, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel has announced five grants to support economic and community development projects in northern, eastern, and western Maine. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen Maine's rural economy.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, "This investment in five Maine organizations will assist in supporting rural businesses and maintaining and creating jobs through multiple projects including microbusiness training, construction at a historic heritage site, and equipment acquisition which will benefit Maine's winter economy."
The following organizations will receive funding under this $252,000 announcement:
Grants for Economic and Community Development:
· MaineStream Finance, of Bangor, has been selected to receive a $63,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist with the development and implementation of a web-based, microenterprise technical assistance and training program for small and emerging businesses in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Knox, and Waldo Counties. Eight businesses will be assisted and nine jobs will be created.
· Heritage Vivant - Living Heritage, of Van Buren, has been selected to receive a $25,000 Rural Economic Impact Initiative Grant to construct a 450-square foot addition to the dining facility for ADA compliancy at the historic Acadian Village site.
· Linneus Sno Sports, Inc., of Linneus has been selected to receive a $50,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist in the acquisition of snowmobile trail-grooming equipment to maintain its nearly 200 miles of trail. Trail maintenance is critical to attracting riders and traffic during winter months, and the patronage of these visitors helps local businesses remain viable.
· Presque Isle Snowmobile Club, of Presque Isle, has been selected to receive a $99,500 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to be used to assist with the acquisition of snowmobile trail-grooming equipment. The club has over 150 individual and family members and over 45 business members. Trail maintenance is critical to attracting riders and traffic during winter months, and the patronage of these visitors helps local businesses remain viable.
· Poodunck Snowmobile Club, of Dixfield, has been selected to receive a $14,500 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to be used to assist with the acquisition of snowmobile trail-grooming equipment. Trail maintenance is critical to attracting riders and traffic during winter months, and the patronage of these visitors helps local businesses remain viable.
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.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 63 employees working to deliver the agency's Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. USDA Rural Development invested a total of $402.5 million in Maine communities last Fiscal Year. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.
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).