SYRACUSE –The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $1.2 Million in grant funding to provide equipment, technical assistance, and training opportunities in rural New York. The money is administered by the USDA’s Rural Development program. On Tuesday, a list of recipients included two in the Hudson Valley.
“Rural Development is proud to collaborate with small business, business development organizations as well as our educational partners in New York,” said State Director Richard Mayfield. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural NY in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Pace University in Westchester is a beneficiary of the program. This Rural Development investment of $29,266 will be used to provide pro bono legal services and legal training programs for small and emerging private rural farm, food and beverage businesses through the university’s Food & Beverage Law Clinic. As a result of this investment, an estimated 57 jobs will be created.
In Sullivan, the Sullivan County Visitors Association will receive an investment of $298,833 to fund three projects that include $99,800 to purchase various office-related equipment for a small business incubator. This incubator will allow small businesses in Sullivan County to utilize conference space, equipment, and technology at no charge. Additionally, $99,995 will be used to hire professional consultants as well as purchase software to conduct 12 workshops for small businesses in the county. Finally, $99,038 will be used to conduct a feasibility study and recommend a strategic plan for the county. Combined, these projects will save or create over 200 area jobs.
“Tourism is our #1 industry in Sullivan County, and we can’t afford to let coronavirus take a bigger bite out of us than it already has,” said Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty. “This funding from the USDA will help ensure the County and its Visitors Association has the plans, the training, and the resources to give our struggling businesses a boost at the time they need it most. In short, we’ll stay competitive as tourism rebounds – and it will rebound.”
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.