LINCOLN — The United States Department of Agriculture is investing $231,000 to assist rural businesses with job creation that will enhance economic opportunities, according to a press release from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development.
“The grants will help to strengthen small emerging rural businesses through working capital that will assist rural communities and build on economic opportunities,” said Karl Elmshaeuser, director of Rural Development. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Nebraska in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Nebraska’s recipients are:
» Center for Rural Affairs — $57,050 — Provide training and technical assistance in Lexington, Madison, West Point and Nebraska City for small and emerging food businesses to assist Latinos develop or start new business enterprises in their community. Workshops and trainings will be facilitated in both English and Spanish to ensure access to the information is available to the target audience. Participants will receive training in completing a business plan and training in basic finance and business operation. Participants who complete the training should have a complete business plan and a roadmap to move forward with their new business enterprise. This project is expected to assist at least six businesses, which will create 25 full-time equivalent jobs.
» GROW Nebraska Foundation — $80,425 — Assist small and emerging rural businesses to increase marketing their businesses via eCommerce. Social media training will be provided face-to-face and via webinars in the communities of Alliance, McCook and Sidney. This project is expected to assist at least three businesses, which will save 13 full-time equivalent jobs.
» Hay Springs Area Chamber of Commerce — $93,525 — Purchase the former grocery store building on Main Street in Hay Springs. The building will be updated (paint, floors) and then rented to a new and emerging business, creating potential full-time and part-time jobs. Coaching by community members will be provided in the following areas: inventory management, personnel management, advertising, marketing, branding, financial reporting and banking.
The funding was awarded through the Rural Business Development Grant program to assist small and emerging rural businesses with targeted technical assistance, training and training facilities, including commercial kitchens, business incubators, makerspaces and farmers’ markets.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas.