U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Bob Morgan today announced that the Department is investing $329,764 to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs in rural Pennsylvania.
“The investments we’re announcing today demonstrate how USDA remains committed to helping rural businesses create new and better market opportunities,” Morgan said. “I would like to thank our local partner organizations involved in administering these funds to the rural small businesses that need them the most.”
The grant funds include five projects.
- The Keystone Development Center Inc. in Lancaster County was awarded an investment of $200,000 through the Rural Cooperative Development Grants program to support its mission to sustain communities, economies and resources through cooperatively-owned businesses in rural Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. These funds support continued development efforts of new cooperative approaches in its region.
- The ECCR Group Inc. in Monroe County was awarded an investment of $100,000 through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to help fund a technical assistance program. The ECCR Group Inc. is a social enterprise organization committed to ensuring rural, minority and underserved communities hit hard by changing economic and environmental trends have the resources and support they need to create a new future and high-quality, sustainable jobs. Its mission is to provide the communities' small and micro businesses with the skills, knowledge and training that will help them start and grow their businesses.
- The Altoona Blair County Development Corporation in Blair County was awarded an investment of $16,297 through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to support the ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. The funds will help provide capital to support its revolving loan fund used to educate, guide and instruct rural microentrepreneurs with the capacity building of skills necessary to operate a microbusiness. This is a non-competitive, annual renewal grant.
- The JARI Growth Fund Inc. in Cambria County was awarded an investment of $3,605 through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to support the ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Technical assistance grant funds will provide JARI Growth Fund Inc. with the capital to establish a revolving loan fund to help originate microloans for microenterprise startups and growth within a six-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania.
- The Progress Fund in Westmoreland County was awarded an investment of $9,862 through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to support the ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Grant funds will help provide The Progress Fund with the capital to support its revolving loan fund used to educate, guide and instruct rural microentrepreneurs with the capacity building of skills necessary to operate a microbusiness. This is a non-competitive annual renewal grant.
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.
You can read the national announcement made today related to these USDA Rural Development funding programs here.
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.
Under 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.
To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.