Nonprofit will use Rural Business Development funds
to offer programs at its new MaineStreet Business Building in Machias.
Machias, Nov. 15, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson announced today that USDA is awarding $75K to the Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC). The nonprofit organization will use the grant to provide on-site technical assistance and networking and professional development events at its new MaineStreet Business Building in downtown Machias.
“USDA Rural Development is excited to continue our partnership with SCEC to provide information technology training and technical assistance for Washington County businesses,” said Director
Hampson. “The new MaineStreet Business Building is an incredible asset to the greater community, showcasing the capacity and energy that exists in the small business sector in rural Maine. SCEC had a vision and a willingness to do the hard work of bringing that into being, and we are proud to help them move that vision forward by funding initial programming. The Biden-Harris administration remains committed to providing rural businesses with the economic opportunities they need in their own communities, and we at USDA Rural Development are proud to be a part of that work.”
The MaineStreet Business Building opened earlier this year. It offers a conference room, meeting spaces, private offices, shared office equipment, and other resources for local businesses. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship team at SCEC oversees the facility, connecting business owners and offering collaboration and networking
opportunities. Small businesses and startups in sectors such as graphic design, agriculture, finance, and fisheries will find resources available. Two years ago, USDA RD awarded a $100K Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to SCEC to equip the MaineStreet Business Building. The organization will use the RBDG award announced today to provide programming at the facility.
Noting that a facility such as this will impress visitors, Director Hampson said, "When someone drives through a town and sees a place like the MaineStreet Business Building, they know immediately that there is support available for local businesses. This facility is centrally located in the shire town, with space to host clients, hold meetings, enjoy reliable connectivity, and have peer-to-peer learning opportunities. These are exactly the kinds of supports that small, rural business need to be successful! With this RBDG award USDA Rural Development is partnering with SCEC to make that happen.”
USDA’s competitive Rural Business Development Grant program funds projects that provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Towns, nonprofits, business cooperatives, federally recognized tribes, and other entities are eligible to apply. Visit the Maine RBDG webpage or call (207) 990-9127 to learn more.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.