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Saturday, February 27, 2016

USDA Seeks Grant Applications to Support Rural Businesses and Create Jobs

STEVENS POINT - U.S.Department of Agriculture Rural Development Wisconsin State Director, Stan Gruszynski, announced that USDA is seeking applications for grants to support rural businesses and help create jobs.

“Our mission is to support and contribute to the economic viability of rural communities and help them build toward the future,” Gruszynski said. “Too often, rural businesses and the communities they serve lack access to the capital and resources they need to grow and thrive. These grants will help remedy that and provide access to planning, mentoring and other services that can help to ensure their success.”

Under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program funds can be used to acquire or develop land, buildings, plants and equipment; build or improve access roads, parking areas, utility extensions, and water and waste disposal facilities; provide technical assistance; establish revolving loan funds; and to support rural distance learning programs for educational or job training.

Eligible applicants include:
·         Public bodies
·         Government entities
·         Federally-recognized Tribes
·         Non-profit organizations

For example, Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA), in Viroqua successfully assisted five businesses with a $43,000 grant award, creating and saving 27 local jobs in the process. The organization’s Food Enterprise Center, a state-of-the-art value-added food processing, aggregation, and distribution facility used grant funds to provide technical assistance to the small, rural businesses utilizing the Center.

The application deadline is March 31, 2016. For additional information on how to apply, contact the USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Office at 715-345-7610 or RD.BCP.SO@wi.usda.gov. Application instructions and related forms are available at www.rd.usda.gov/wi. Applications must be sent to the USDA Rural Deveopment Wisconsin State Office, 5417 Clem’s Way, Stevens Point, WI 54482.

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