August 1, 2013
Yesterday, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program to support small and emerging rural businesses in the context of a broader effort to strengthen the rural economy. The awards totaled over $6.5 million dollars for 134 projects in thirty states and Puerto Rico.
Earlier this summer, USDA awarded $4.7 million in RBEG grants to 54 recipients. Like the earlier round of awards, the new awards also include funding for local food enterprise projects.
Six recipients in four states received funding for farmers’ market projects with an average grant amount of $38,853, including funding to renovate a building for a year-round farmers market and to construct a farmers’ market pavilion.
USDA also provided funding for food hubs and local food projects in seven states and Puerto Rico with an average grant amount of $47,792. Funds will be used to construct a kitchen incubator, to provide technical assistance for local foods processing and marketing, and to develop a mobile mill and kitchen for farmers, among other projects.
Funding will also support microenterprises for two initiatives in Oregon, totaling $30,000, that will be used to expand an existing microenterprise revolving loan fund and to provide entrepreneurial training to microenterprises.
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno stated that investments in rural businesses “contribute to rural revitalization and economic development in the small towns where these businesses are located.”
Click here to see the full list of recipients.