Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing $4.9 million in 50 projects across the country and in the Western Pacific to support small and emerging rural businesses.
“USDA and the Obama Administration are working to bring expanded economic opportunities and well-paying jobs to rural communities,” Vilsack said. “Strategic investments in rural businesses will help grow local economies and revitalize our small towns and communities.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel said, “This investment in Maine’s thriving Snowmobile Industry is important as it represents support for local jobs and small businesses in far northern Maine and the Moosehead Lake Region.”
The funding is from USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, which promotes the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. RBEGs may also be used to help fund distance learning networks and employment-related adult education programs. Eligible applicants include public bodies, private non-profit corporations and federally recognized Indian Tribes.
USDA Rural Development is providing a $120,400 in Rural Business Enterprise Grants to two Maine Snowmobile Clubs:
- Moosehead Riders, Inc., in Greenville, has been selected to receive a RBEG Grant in the amount of $70,000 to purchase a new snowmobile trail groomer for the club.
- Portage Lakers Sno-Mobile Club, Inc., in Portage Lake has been selected to receive $45,400 to purchase a new snowmobile trail groomer for the club.
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the RBEG program has helped create or save more than 90,000 rural jobs, provided more than $54 million in economic development assistance, improved manufacturing capability, expanded health care and educational facilities, and has either expanded or helped establish more than 3,200 economic development projects.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his 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 Rural Development invested $462.5 million in rural Maine communities last fiscal year in the areas of homeownership, business assistance, energy and renewable energy development, water and wastewater and community facilities. The agency has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 59 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.