Trump Administration Invest $305,149 in Rural Business Development Grants in Rural Pennsylvania

Amber Albright
Release Date
Aug 17, 2020

Trump Administration Invest $305,149 in Rural Business Development Grants in Rural Pennsylvania

Investment to Help Provide Technical Assistance and Training for Small Rural Businesses  

Harrisburg, PA., Aug. 3, 2020 – The Trump Administration along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Curt Coccodrilli today announced that USDA is investing $305,149 to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses in rural Pennsylvania. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG). 

“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, I am privileged to announce these vital funding in rural Pennsylvania. Investments like this are paramount to the goals of President Trump set forth in his Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. This investment will help retain and grow the workforce. It is truly an honor to give back to the communities and help those seeking family sustaining jobs throughout this remarkable region.,” said Curt Coccodrilli, PA State Director. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Pennsylvania in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Recipients can use RBDG funding on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funding can also be used for training, technical assistance, acquisition or development of land, pollution control, distance adult learning for job training and advancement.

In Pennsylvania:

  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northern Pennsylvania located in an Opportunity Zone in Bloomsburg, Pa. was awarded $99,699 and will be used to provide funds to renovate and improve the exterior of Ben Franklin Technology Partner's business incubator building. The business incubator provides a venue for entrepreneurial development in Northeastern PA.
  • DESS Foundation, Inc. located in Clarion, Pa. was awarded $45,000 and will be used to help fund a job training program in underserve Clarion County specifically geared towards the hospitality industry. DESS Foundation IN. with its local partners, will provide onsite and local training to individuals to create and support jobs. The county hospitality workforce has little available applied training in required management skills, record keeping, or technical assistance suited to this industry. This area continues to experience loss in population and an aging workforce, in addition being an economically soft market. This grant will be used to enhance the staffing, management skills, and accounting knowledge to support the foundation and preservation of small and emerging businesses.
  • New Leaf Initiative located in State College, Pa. was awarded $60,950 and will be used to help the New Leaf Initiative business incubator upgrade its technology to support virtual webinars and meetings in its conference rooms. Funds will also be used for the addition of single and double occupancy soundproof booths, piloting a parking validation program, adding electronic locks to allow member access afterhours, and providing 6 workshops per year to train small businesses. The use of funds will create jobs and allow support to reach businesses beyond the State College, PA area.  
  • Franklin Industrial Commercial Development Authority located in Franklin, Pa. was awarded $99,500 and will be used to provide funding to Franklin Industrial & Commercial Development Authority to replace and make necessary repairs to approximately 10,000 square feet of commercial roofing on the main building of its rural business incubator, Venango Area Industrial Complex.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit

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If you would like to schedule an interview with State Director Curt Coccodrilli, please contact Amber Albright at 717-237-2295 or



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