U.S. Representative Stephen Fincher and USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode today announced the award of Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) grants to Weakley County Chamber of Commerce and the Dresden Industrial Commission, Inc.
“In January, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the expansion into Tennessee of the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity strategy of partnering public resources with local expertise to grow rural economies,” said Goode. “These projects are excellent examples of local, state and regional partnerships working together to create jobs and improve lives in our rural communities.”
A $10,000 grant will assist the Weakley County Chamber of Commerce with the purchase and upgrade of computer equipment and software that will enhance their marketing capabilities to better serve area businesses and support recruitment, retention and expansion of industries in the region. A $6,250 grant to the Dresden Industrial Commission will help them complete the requirements of the State of Tennessee’s Certified Site Program that will increase economic opportunity to the area.
The RBEG program is a broad based program that reaches to the core of rural development in a number of ways. The Rural Business Enterprise Grant program promotes the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Rural towns, communities, State agencies and authorities, Indian tribes and rural, private non-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding. A few examples of eligible fund uses are acquisition or development of land, construction or renovation of buildings or plants, machinery and equipment, access roads or parking areas, utilities, training and technical assistance, distance adult learning for job training and advancement, and rural transportation improvement.
Others participating in the event included Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum, City of Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester, Executive Director NWTDD John Bucy, Regional Director NW Region Business Development Blake Swaggart, Executive Director Weakley County Chamber of Commerce Barbara Virgin, Dresden Industrial Commission Chairman Junior Moore, Weakley County Economic Development Board Director Ronnie Price and USDA RD Staff.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, health, education, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.7 Billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Northwest Tennessee contact the Union City Area Office at 731-885-6480 x4, or 800-342-3149 x1497. Visit us online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.