Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a $189,808 grant for the Tioga County Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) in Tioga County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program and will be used to purchase essential equipment that is currently too costly for rural businesses. This will allow businesses the ability to expand, retain and increase employees, and better address market conditions and community needs.
“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and this much-needed funding will help support our entrepreneurs in Tioga County by providing them the funds to purchase essential equipment needed to operate their businesses and expand,” said Senator Schumer. “This direct USDA rural business assistance will help them generate economic revenue, create jobs and better address market conditions, making it a win-win for our local small businesses and area residents.”
“Investing in local infrastructure is one of the best ways to stimulate growth in our local economy,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As we strengthen our efforts to generate an economic recovery, we need to make sure that New York’s small business owners and entrepreneurs are not left out.”
“Receipt of the USDA RBEG grant for $189,000 plus dollars is wonderful news,” said Dick Bierl, President of Rural Economic Area Partnership. “This grant will allow Tioga County REAP to help three county businesses complete startup or grow their businesses. We will be able help them with equipment thru very attractive financing/rental rates. It also could mean 10-15 more jobs in Tioga County over the next few years.”
Tioga County benefits from its federal REAP Zone designation, as one of five special economic development zones supported by the Senators and reauthorized in the Farm Bill. The designation helps give the county priority access to federal funding from the USDA to help grow the local economy and revitalize rural communities.
USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants are available to towns, state agencies, tribes and non-profits. They are used to support development of rural small businesses, distance learning networks and adult job training education programs.