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USDA gives grants for rural development

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer announced the selection of four Minnesota organizations to receive over $750,000 in loans and grants to support rural microentrepreneurs, create jobs and strengthen communities in rural Minnesota.

Landkamer said, "These investments lead to a stronger and more sustainable rural economy by helping locally-owned small rural businesses grow and add jobs."

The funds are delivered through Rural Development's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Recipients are development organizations that make loans to microentreprenerus and microenterprises, and provide business-based training and technical assistance to rural micro-borrowers.

Organizations selected to receive funding include:

• North Central Economic Development Association, Inc.: $400,000 loan; $100,000 grant to capitalize a rural microloan revolving fund to make loans to rural microentreprenuers and microenterprises.

• Northwest Minnesota Foundation: $150,000 loan; $37,500 grant to assist small businesses in a 12-county area of northwestern Minnesota with start-up or expansion funds.

• Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Inc.: $40,000 to provide microloans, technical assistance and training to 98 rural businesses in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

• Lincoln County Enterprise Development Corporation: $35,000 grant to provide individual technical assistance and training.