(Des Moines) — USDA awards five grants to help small businesses in Iowa expand their operations.
Recently, Tom Vilsack awarded a total of $321,000 to five organizations in Iowa.
A $32,000 grant will go to the University of Northern Iowa Institute for Decision Making in Cedar Falls. They will use this money to study to how incorporating food hubs into rural grocery stores can help prevent and absolve food deserts in rural Iowa.
USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner says these grants really help build capacity for organizations working with small businesses and rural communities.
“When you think about life in a rural community, there are some key elements. All of them influence the rural areas around the small town. The ag producers, the farmers, the ranchers and small businesses are in many places the lifeblood of those small towns. In a lot of cases they provide off-farm income but they are also a resource and a retail hub for the community. A stronger business community in a small town really benefits the ag producers in the outlying rural areas,” Menner said.
Four other organizations received grant money.
Charles City Area Development Corporation got $26,270 to develop an industrial site analysis.
Estherville Industrial Development received $25,000 to establish a revolving loan fund in Emmett County.
Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa received $40,820 to help small businesses in southeast Iowa and O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation in Primghar got $196,910 to establish a revolving loan fund.
Funding of each award depends on the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.USDAUSD