USDA Rural Development awards $ 99,900 to help launch Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship

The Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship, a Sunrise County Economic Council program, recently received a USDA Rural Business Development Grant in the amount of $ 99,900 as part of a $ 539,053 investment in seven Maine organizations aimed at helping create and maintain jobs and benefit rural businesses. .

This significant investment in Washington County will provide members of the Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship with the professional furniture and shared office equipment needed to conduct their business conveniently and comfortably in the new coworking space.

The goal of the SCEC and Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Program is to create, support and connect the Washington County small business community.

SCEC Entrepreneurship Program Director Denise Cilley says, “This level of USDA support allows us to outfit the Center after construction and provide members with world-class workspaces and equipment. shared offices, giving them versatile areas to do their best work.

In addition to regular business trainings, virtual and in-person educational programs, coaching sessions and events, the Entrepreneurial Center will provide a dynamic physical space in downtown Machias with a variety of private and private works and meeting spaces. shared, open coworking spaces, shared office equipment, and a kitchen area.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the heart of Washington County’s economy and this is where the most untapped potential lies,” said Charles Rudelitch, executive director of SCEC. “This USDA investment will support our neighbors in growing their businesses and creating more opportunities for all who live and work in our communities.”

With the USDA Rural Business Development Grant, SCEC takes another step towards the realization of the Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship.

The current structure at 19 Main Street, Machias, known as the Nash Building, is undergoing a Hazardous Substance Assessment, funded by the Washington County Brownfields Program. The demolition phase of the project is expected to take place this winter and construction will begin in the spring of 2022.

Businesses and individuals can make fundraising donations by engaging at

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