The USDA is announcing grants this week that aim to help small businesses in rural areas create jobs and spark economic growth.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the 54 awards are coming under the Rural Business Enterprise Grants program and they’re going to outlets in Nebraska and 20 other states.
Vilsack says, “These awards run the gamut from providing assistance and help to small businesses for additional training, for the development of a good business plan as a good start to a small business, as the outlining a feasibility study to determine market opportunities.”
Among the Nebraska recipients is the Center for Rural Affairs, based in Lyons. The USDA will provide the center with $99,000 for training and technical assistance. Secretary Vilsack says the grants will have wide-ranging impact.
“Tourism is one area that continues to receive attention in rural America,” Vilsack says. “These grants help to foster tourism and they help to support our efforts to grow regional food hubs to better support local and regional food systems. There are also businesses that will help value-added farming.”
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy in small towns and rural communities, Vilsack says. He adds, the USDA is focused on making sure Main Street businesses have the tools they need to grow.