USDA Funds Boost Small Rural Businesses

By KBJR News 1

August 27, 2012 Updated Aug 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM CDT

Carlton, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Carlton County has been awarded a nearly 100-thousand dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help businesses expand and grow.

The Rural Business Enterprise Grant will be used to finance and develop small emerging rural businesses, distance learning projects and adult education programs.

The USDA presented the grant to community leaders today.
Carlton County has agreed to match $50,000 and will establish a revolving loan fund for its community businesses.

Colleen Landmaker, the State Director of the USDA, says the grant will help small business owners stay competitive during the economic recovery.

"This is all about building resilient communities, sustainable communities, long lasting communities that gives people jobs, that gives kids the opportunity to thrive and grow here, and come back here," Landmaker said.

This is the third grant the county has received from the USDA in the last three years.

Several business owners in Carlton County that have previously benefited from USDA spoke at today's event about how they've helped.

The owners of Oakview Residential Care in Moose Lake were able to provide a memory care home for ten seniors and create 15 jobs with funds granted in 2011.

"One of the biggest things that the low interest USDA money does is, allows us to partner with our local banks," Dan Benzie and his wife, Sue said. "The security and stability of the USDA funds along with a very low interest rate leverages the dollars that are available locally."

Jennifer Walch
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