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Southeastern Utah Economy to Benefit from Three USDA Grants

Djinni Yancey
Salt Lake City
Release Date

MONTEZUMA CREEK, Utah, Dec. 18, 2023 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utah State Director Michele Weaver today announced three investments to advance economic development in southeastern Utah communities through research, technical assistance and training.

“USDA’s commitment to rural prosperity includes investing in rural partners who understand the unique challenges facing people in the most rural and remote areas of our state,” said Weaver. “With the grants we’re announcing today, we look forward to seeing better access to career support, education, and economic opportunity for people in southeastern Utah.”

Navajo Utah Commission  will use an $80,000 grant to identify and analyze business opportunities to use local materials and create jobs. This includes opportunities in export markets, as well as feasibility and business plan studies. The study will help them learn the best way to reduce travel distances and provide better access to food and necessities in Montezuma Creek and surrounding areas. 

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) will use a $74,000 grant to provide training and technical assistance to small and emerging businesses in San Juan County. Through workshops, technical assistance, and coaching, RCAC s Building Rural Economies (BRE) program trains community leaders and entrepreneurs to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem supportive of business development, entrepreneurship, and local leadership.

Utah State University will use a $50,000 grant to provide technical assistance and rural adult distance learning programs to help with business development, potential employment, and job advancement which will benefit small and emerging businesses in San Juan County, Kayenta, Arizona, and Towaoc, Colorado.

USDA is making these investments through the Rural Business Development Grant Program to help economic development planning and the financing or expansion of rural businesses by providing technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Recently USDA announced it is expanding eligibility for Tribes under this program, to enable more Tribal government-owned entities to qualify.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ut.