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USDA Invests $500,000 in Wetzel County Small Business to Help Cut Utility Costs and Strengthen Operations

Andrew Stacy
Release Date

PADEN CITY, Sept. 26, 2023 – On August 30, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development awarded the Paul Wissmach Glass Company a $500,000 grant through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help purchase and install new energy-efficient equipment at its factory in Paden City, West Virginia.

USDA Rural Development State Director, and Wetzel County native, Ryan Thorn visited the Paul Wissmach Glass Factory in September to see the energy efficiency upgrades in action. The upgrades include a new flue emissions system and glass rolling machinery. Thanks to these improvements Wissmach Glass is expected to realize $249,284 per year in energy savings, which will help the company strengthen the resilience of its operation and bolster its bottom line.

“The operations at Wissmach are impressively unique and I’m glad to be able to speak with the owner and see how Rural Development’s investments are directly helping to support small businesses,” said Thorn. “This investment will help Wissmach power its operations with modern, energy efficient infrastructure, which helps cut utility costs and creates new economic opportunities. Wissmach has been making glass for over a century in Paden City and our investment helps put them on a path to continue for another century.”  

The grant was made available through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which included funding made possible by the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. Since December 2022, Rural Development has made up to $1.3 billion available in REAP funding through the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligible applicants include rural small business owners and agricultural producers.

Rural Development continues to accept applications and will hold funding competitions quarterly through Sept. 30, 2024. The funding includes $144.5 million for underutilized renewable energy technologies. For additional information on application deadlines and submission details, see page 19239 of the March 31 Federal Register.

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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