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USDA Invests $9.5 Million to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Michigan

Alec Lloyd
East Lansing
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $981 million to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs in 47 states, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

“Rural people provide the everyday essentials our country depends on,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is dedicated to helping people through job creation and expansion of entrepreneurial opportunities in the rural places they live. The partnerships we’re announcing today demonstrate USDA’s commitment to advocating for rural business owners and building brighter futures for everyone in rural America.”

Michigan has three recipients receiving a total of $9.5 million in loans.

“These investments demonstrate how we are working to enhance Michigan’s strong tourism sector, making the rural areas of our state even more attractive to visitors,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins.  “Whether providing critical infrastructure or essential financing, USDA is ready to help all rural Michigan communities.”

Balancing Environment and Rehabilitation, in Leelanau County, will use a $1,380,000 loan to rehabilitate an inn and garage located in the Glen Haven Historic District Village within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The building will be operated as a nine-room premier bed and breakfast by a newly established non-profit. The National Park Service owns the property and buildings and has provided a 40-year lease to the organization to operate the facility. The project will create eight jobs.  

Birch Run Hospitality LLC, in Saginaw County, will use a $4,760,000 loan to purchase a hotel in Birch Run. The communities and rural small businesses around Birch Run are dependent on tourism and this will provide a place for visitors to stay.

Chelsea Lodging LLC, in Washtenaw County, will use a $3,360,000 loan to purchase real estate for a hotel in Chelsea. This will support local employment through both employees at the hotel and from the additional business guests in the area.

The funding will help keep resources and wealth made by rural people right at home through affordable financing and technical assistance. It will help rural Americans start businesses and allow small business owners to grow. It will also open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing.  

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In 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.

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