During a news conference at the Vintage Café in Laconia Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials announced seven organizations across the state will share $175,000 in USDA Rural Development job-creating grants.
Belknap Economic Development Council, Snow Drifters of Rumney, Capital Regional Development Council, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, Sullivan County, Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network and Northern Community Investment Corporation each received a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).
"Small businesses create huge opportunities for rural communities," said USDA Rural Development New Hampshire and Vermont State Director Ted Brady. "These grants will help small and emerging businesses in rural New Hampshire hire more employees and create striving communities across the state."
Belknap Economic Development Council (BEDC) Executive Director Justin Slattery said, "USDA-Rural Development's RBEG grant has allowed BEDC to build a great partnership with NH Small Business Development Center in Belknap County. We look forward to continuing to collaborate in the coming year to assist local businesses just like the Vintage Café in Laconia."
During the news conference at the Vintage Café, Brady presented certificates to the seven grantees:
· Belknap Economic Development Council: $20,234 to provide a second year of funding for ongoing business counseling to small and emerging businesses in Belknap County.
· Snow Drifters: $20,000 to the Grafton County snowmobiling club to purchase trail grooming equipment to maintain 40 miles of trails in Plymouth, Rumney, Groton, Hebron and Wentworth.
· Capital Regional Development Council: $25,000 to conduct a feasibility study to determine the need for, cost and sustainability of a Community Kitchen in Boscawen.
· Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust: $16,500 to integrate farm land conservation into business planning and land conservation.
· Sullivan County: $30,000 to conduct a feasibility study surrounding farm-based economic development and studying the need for an agricultural incubator in Unity.
· Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network: $13,266 to assist arts-based entrepreneurs in Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties.
· Northern Community Investment Corporation: $50,000 to provide technical support and counseling to small businesses in Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
USDA, through its Rural Development 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 more than $201.3 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.rurdev.usda.gov/nh-vtHome.html) or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.