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USDA Rural Development Provides $528,563 to Support Maine Microentrepreneurs and Microenterprises

Name
Nicole Howell
Release Date
Dec 07, 2022

Biden-Harris Administration Invests $981 Million to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and Entrepreneurs in 47 States, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands

WASHINGTON, Dec. 06, 2022 – 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. In Maine, three economic development organizations will receive a total of $528,563 from the USDA Rural Development Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

“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.”

“These new and better market investments coming into Maine will assist economic development organizations with the funding needed to support the success of current and future microentrepreneurs,” said USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Rhiannon Hampson. “These investments, through the Biden-Harris Administration will resonate throughout our rural communities and we will see the benefits for years to come.”

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.

Through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program announcement, three economic development agencies will receive a combined total of $528,563 to support the development and ongoing success of microentrepreneurs and microenterprises operating within eight counties throughout Maine: 

  • Sunrise County Economic Council, located in Machias, Maine, received a grant of $15,679. This grant investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Washington County.
  • Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, located in Auburn, Maine, received two grants totaling $12,884. This investment will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to current and potential rural microborrowers throughout Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.
  • Eastern Maine Development Corporation, located in Bangor, Maine, received a loan of $500,000. This investment will provide support for the development and ongoing success of microentrepreneurs and microenterprises in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo, and Washington counties. This loan will capitalize a revolving loan fund that will allow Eastern Maine Development Corporation to provide microloans to rural businesses. This project will help create 28 jobs and save 60 jobs, and support at least 15 area businesses. 

This funding will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. It will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers in nearly every state create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce. For more information about the program or to apply, please contact Ivana Hernandez Clukey at 207-990-9127 or ivana.hernandezclukey@usda.gov.


Background:

USDA is making 242 awards through eight programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are the Biofuel Producer Relief Payments ProgramBusiness and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants program, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.

The awards are being made in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

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.

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