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USDA Invests $63.3 Million to Support Local Businesses, Create Good-Paying Jobs and Strengthen the Economy in South Carolina

Name
Stephanie Bittiker
Phone
City
Columbia, S.C
Release Date
Feb 02, 2022

Investments support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build back better in rural America

 COLUMBIA, Feb. 2, 2022United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for South Carolina Dr. Saundra Glover today announced that USDA is investing $63.3 million  to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth in our rural communities through job training, business expansion and technical assistance.

“Today, we’re excited to announce over $63.3 million in investments for 26 projects located throughout our state,” said Glover.  “These projects will help boost South Carolina’s rural communities by creating good-paying jobs and improving the economy for people and businesses in rural areas. When rural America succeeds, we all succeed.”

The funding announced today will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout South Carolina. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. And it will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce. 

For example, in South Carolina:

  • Investments of $59.6 million in Business & Industry Loan Guarantees was awarded to five rural businesses located through out the state.  These projects include construction of two solar array projects, a manufacturing facility, a greenhouse facility and also the construction of a hotel/restaurant.
  • Clemson University received a $135,300 Rural Community Development Grant which will be  used to provide technical assistance to rural cooperatives and mutually owned businesses through the South Carolina for Cooperative and Enterprise Development.
  •  The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce received an $86,217 Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grant which will allow them to provide technical assistance to rural micro-entrepreneurs or microenterprises. These funds and matching funds will be used to offset costs of workshops, meetings and to help potential clients with feasibilities studies, business and marketing plans. It is expected that participation in this program will increase as a result of this technical assistance.
  • Investments of over $3.5 million in Value Added Producer Grants was awarded to 19 recipients located throughout the state.  These grants will help those agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of their products. 

Background:

Glover highlighted 26 investments that USDA is making in four programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs include Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, which provided record-breaking investments in fiscal year 2021,   

Other programs also include the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, and Value-Added Producer Grants Program. 

These programs are part of a suite of business and cooperative services that are projected to help create or save more than 50,000 jobs in rural America through investments made in fiscal year 2021. 

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, 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. USDA Rural Development is prioritizing projects that will support key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help rural America build back better and stronger. Key priorities include combating the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the impacts of climate change; and advancing equity in rural America. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov/sc.

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