Virginia Receives $100,000 Enterprise Grant

By KBJR News 1

October 19, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 6:12 PM CDT

VIRGINIA, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---The city of Virginia will now receive help expanding it's small businesses and creating more job opportunities.

A grant totaling $100,000 has been given to the city of Virginia from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

The Rural Business Enterprise Grant will be used to re-capitalize the cities existing revolving loan fund by assisting small business with start-up or expansion financing.

"We didn't have a lot of money in the coffers prior to this coming through," Virginia Mayor Steve Peterson said. "And there's a lot of businesses that need our help and assistance on many improvements, energy improvements, fixing up the facades, just beautifying their structures."

The city has agreed to match the grant and is working with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency to help leverage the funds.

City Operations Manager John Tourville says the city is meeting with the USDA again next week to go over specifics outlined in the grant.

"This funding can help with payroll, it can also buy energy efficiency, equipment, it can do store front activity so its very liberal in its application," Tourville said.

For every $10,000 a business receives, it must commit to creating at least one full time job.

"It's the gift that keeps on giving," Colleen Landkamer, Rural Development State Director said. "It keeps revolving through the community and just building a stronger community, stronger businesses.

Fine Edge Custom Framing, a small business in Virginia, knows first hand how revolving grants can help jump start business.

In 2010, the store received a $10,000 store front loan from the city to help improve renovations both inside and out.

"That's a real hard thing to do to come up with enough money to do renovations," Co-Owner, Gayle Streier said. "So it definitely gives you a little piece of mind as your getting started. It frees up money to make sure your operations are funded."

Five million dollars in Rural Businesses Enterprise Grants have been awarded throughout the state by the USDA Rural Development since 2009.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch