WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Small Business Week by highlighting USDA’s actions to help rural small businesses create jobs, get access to capital and spur economic growth. He also announced the selection of recipients for USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grants. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in small towns and rural communities, just as they are in our biggest cities,” Vilsack said. “USDA supports small businesses by providing job training, business development opportunities, strategic community planning and other resources. We’re focused on making sure that Main Street businesses have the tools they need to grow.”
Secretary Vilsack announced 54 awards under the Rural Business Enterprise Grants program in 21 states, one grant award in Washington. The funding announced under the Rural Business Enterprise Grants program will help support the Obama Administration’s vision by providing rural communities with resources to support small businesses, improve public facilities, and create new, sustainable jobs. Funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions for the grant.
Rural Business Enterprise Grants and other USDA programs help rural small businesses manufacture new products, expand local food systems and create jobs. For example, in Washington State, Two Rivers CDC, a Native American, 501c3 organization based out of North Bend, WA, formed to address poverty in Indian Country by supporting economic and community development, will be awarded a $49,698 grant to provide technical assistance for tribal businesses.
President Obama’s plan to revitalize the rural economy has brought about historic investment over the past four years – including in America’s small towns and rural communities. USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
This grant will help support and expand the services Two Rivers CDC and the Native PTAC program can offer to the Native business community.