Seven area projects were among 19 that shared more than one million dollars in USDA Rural Development funds awarded recently.
The acting state director of USDA Rural Development D. Clark Thomas announced $1,006,698 in Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program funding to organizations statewide to create jobs and increase economic opportunities in Missouri.
Among our area projects that received funding are the Mercer County Area Development Corporation, the Lafayette County Enterprises, Inc., Green Hills Rural Development Inc., Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri Inc., Lettuce Dream, Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation and the Maryville Downtown Improvement Organization.
Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas.
Info on area projects from the USDA-
–Mercer County Area Development Corporation will use a $61,100 grant to create and execute a small business service program with the intentional purpose of entrepreneurial and small business development. It was also awarded a $13,600 grant to complete a feasibility study for a grocery store. The study will encompass marketplace access for fresh produce, baked goods, and fresh meats in Mercer County.
–Lafayette County Enterprises, Inc., will use a $26,889 grant to purchase and install a recycle baler and a mover. The organization operates a recycling program for cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, and cans serving Lafayette County and the surrounding area. The purchase will allow the organization to speed up its operation and process more recycling materials on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
–Green Hills Rural Development Inc. will use a $39,000 grant to make improvements to its building. This project will help support activities related to workforce development, economic development, transportation planning, community development planning, hazard mitigation activities, and solid waste management.
–Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri Inc. will use a $53,863 grant to assist with technical assistance and program delivery throughout the northwest region. The funding will assist the Maximize NWMO team with the expenses associated with the last steps toward its pilot program’s envisioned end goal: to have developed and tested a rural-based system of collaborACTION that will serve as a continuous guide and source of support for leaders. The long-term outcome of Maximize NWMO’s work will be a stabilized and growing rural population and a more collaborative and prosperous traded regional position in the global marketplace.
–Lettuce Dream will use a $9,684 grant to assist in purchasing LED lighting for its greenhouse to increase basil production capacity. Lettuce Dream is a hydroponic farm and provides career education and grows community inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities. It also provides hydroponic leafy greens year-round to local businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, and food services.
–Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation will use a $16,900 grant to assist entrepreneurs who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and who are starting new businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Additionally, the organization will continue to offer one on one training for entrepreneurs and potential small businesses, along with free and confidential coaching on best business practices to local rural entrepreneurs.
–Maryville Downtown Improvement Organization, Inc. will use a $45,000 grant to identify economic development opportunities that exist within the downtown district. The organization will work in conjunction with the city of Maryville and Nodaway County Economic Development to coordinate recruitment activities and identify additional opportunities available to foster entrepreneurial growth. This project will also assist in the promotion of the area in its entirety. It will assist future and current small businesses in the downtown district take full advantage of the resources available within the community to establish and grow their businesses. A primary goal of this project is to continuously identify and support emerging business through startup in the downtown district.