BANGOR – USDA Rural Development invests over $ 500,000 in seven organizations through the Rural Business Development Grant. These funds will support economic development activities in rural Maine communities.
Higgins, Acting State of Maine Director, said, “This USDA rural development investment helps fund a wide variety of economic development projects and benefits Maine businesses, while creating and maintaining jobs in communities across the state. These grants will support farms, provide training for Native American businesses, help purchase trail grooming equipment, and more, ”according to a press release from the USDA.
Seven organizations in Maine will receive a total of $ 539,053 in rural business development grant funds:
• The Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Bangor received $ 32,388, which will be used to help the Eastern Maine Development Corporation conduct a feasibility study for a slaughter and meat processing facility. This aid will ultimately benefit farmers and independent producers who are members of Perseco LLC.
• The Sunrise County Economic Council in Machias received $ 99,900, to be used to purchase furniture and other equipment for the Machias Valley Center for Entrepreneurship. The center will have a shared workspace, open coworking stations, shared office equipment, a kitchen area and will offer training and programming activities for small businesses. Sunrise County Economic County will help seven businesses and create two full-time equivalent jobs.
• Arnold Trail Snowmobile Network in Eustis received $ 125,500 which will be used to purchase snowmobile groomer equipment that will replace an old heavy maintenance groomer. This equipment is vital to the winter economy and ensures continuous access to businesses during the winter months. The project will help 13 businesses and save 20 full-time equivalent jobs.
• Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford received $ 22,212 which will be used to purchase alpine trail surface equipment that will replace an old, heavy maintenance groomer. Black Mountain is vital to Rumford’s winter economy and plays a major role in its economic development. The mountain’s historic reputation and ski events are essential for Rumford to attract a new Best Western hotel to the area. Black Mountain of Maine will help nine businesses.
• The Town of Caribou received $ 95,000, which will be used to purchase snowmobile trail groomer equipment that will replace an old heavy maintenance trail groomer. This equipment is vital to the winter economy and ensures continuous access to businesses during the winter months. Caribou will help 21 businesses and save 15 full-time equivalent jobs.
• The Four Directions Development Corporation in Orono received $ 92,500, which will be used to help the Four Directions Development Corporation provide individual technical assistance on reserve. This assistance will be available to Native American business owners, both existing and start-up, across Maine. Four Directions development companies will help 12 businesses and help create 15 jobs.
• Catholic Charities Maine in Portland received $ 71,553, which will be used by Catholic Charities Maine to purchase a broccoli flowering machine and rent it to WR Allen in Orland. This equipment allows WR Allen to diversify its current processing capabilities and provide an additional source of income. Catholic Charities will help five businesses statewide and create 57 jobs.
USDA’s Rural Business Development Grants program provides grants to entities such as cities, communities, and nonprofit organizations for economic development. For more information, contact Ivana Hernandez Clukey, Business and Cooperative Loans Specialist, at 207-990-9127 or [email protected].