The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) received a $230,000 grant Friday to bolster economic development in 11 Windham and Bennington communities. BDCC will provide technical assistance to local non-profits and long term strategic economic development planning for the region with the funding.
“The Southern Vermont Economy Project seeks to engage the relationships built during the post Irene recovery and enhance the capacity of these on-the-ground organizations to deliver economic development services to areas in need,” said USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady. “BDCC recognizes that communities are stronger together than apart and will use this project to rebuild southern Vermont’s economic foundation.”
BDCC’s Executive Director Adam Grinold said that the Southern Vermont Economy Project will focus its efforts on community economic development over the course of two years. With the grant, the non-profit will hire an economic development professional to provide technical support in Rupert, Peru, Searsburg, Readsboro, Bennington, Rockingham, Bellows Falls, Wardsboro, Marlboro, Halifax and Brattleboro. In 2015 the Vermont Legislature created the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone. The BDCC will invest these funds to help build a framework for regional cooperation by and between public sector and private sector partners within the zone concerning economic development initiatives; workforce training, retention, and recruitment; and sustainable business investment. Executive Director Grinold further explains, “We look forward to working closely with the many organizations across Southern Vermont, helping align their efforts where appropriate, aiming to reduce redundancies and improve efficiency across the region”
USDA Rural Development funded BDCC’s project through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant program that supports non-profit organizations in improving housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas. BDCC was one of 23 organizations nationwide to receive part of more than $4 million in funding announced Friday. The USDA is currently accepting applications for the RCDI program. For the 2016 grant application and more information on the RCDI program visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-community-development-initiative-grants.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $214 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website (www.rd.usda.gov/nh or www.rd.usda.gov/vt ) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.