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USDA Announces $23.4 Million to Strengthen Rural Small Businesses in the Northeast Region

RD Press
Washington, DC
Release Date

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va., May 10, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Business & Cooperative Service (RBCS) Administrator Betsy Dirksen Londrigan joined Rural Development State Director Ryan Thorn to announce that businesses in the Northeast are receiving $23.4 million to help bolster their bottom lines, reduce their energy use, and create economic opportunities.

Today’s announcement is made possible by historic funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. It comes on the heels of Small Business Week and in celebration of Small Business Day on May 10.

USDA Rural Development RBCS Administrator Betsy Dirksen Londrigan said “Businesses in the Northeast are getting a boost from over $23 million in loan and grant funding. From Maine to West Virginia, these businesses are receiving vital funding that will help them with activities such as installing renewable and energy efficient systems, establishing revolving loan funds, and providing critical working capital. Investments like these are helping to create jobs and strengthen local economies in rural America.”

Through its Business and Cooperative Programs, USDA Rural Development offer loans, loan guarantees, and grants to individuals, businesses, cooperatives, farmers and ranchers, public bodies, non-profit corporations, Native American Tribes, and private companies in rural communities. 

Businesses in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia are benefiting from today’s announcement. The full list of 28 projects included in this announcement is available on our website.

  • In West Virginia, A. Wilson & Sons will use a $500,000 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a glass tempering furnace. W.A. Wilson and Sons Inc. is a family-owned, full-line glass and aluminum fabricator and distribution company in Ohio County, West Virginia. This project will realize $12,722.59 per year in savings and will save 128,641 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough energy to power 10 homes.
  • In Maine, Northern Maine Development Commission will receive a $500,000 Rural Microentrepreneurial Assistance Program Loan to support the development and ongoing success of microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Aroostook County, Washington County, Piscataquis County and northern Penobscot County, Maine.
  • In New Hampshire, Ashuelot River Hydro, Inc will use a Rural Energy for America Program guaranteed loan in the amount of $7,793,000 to provide a loan guarantee on financing that will transfer ownership of three (3) hydroelectric facilities. Located in Winchester and Marlborough, these sources of clean, renewable energy produce a combined 12,968,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.
  • In Vermont, Brattleboro Development Credit Corp will use a Rural Microentrepreneurial Assistance Program Loan in the amount of $350,000 to assist small businesses by providing loans that help them access the capital they need in order to start or grow.
  • In Pennsylvania, Wilsbach Distributors Inc. will use a Rural Energy for America Program Grant in the amount of $1,000,000 to help the business, located in Harrisburg, to purchase and install a 1.41-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Wilsbach Distributors Inc. has been operating since 1933 as a wholesale beverage distributor. This project will generate 1,831,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is enough energy to power 168 homes.
  • In Maryland, Platform Systems, Inc., will use a $10,000,000 Business & Industry Loan Guarantee to refinance existing debt and provide the company with $3.2 million in equipment. The new equipment or tooling machinery will enable the company to increase production of their signature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from 6 planes per year to 12 planes per year.

The funding announced today advances President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, to grow the American economy from the middle-out and bottom up – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good-paying jobs that will make our communities more resilient.

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/wv.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.