(Fremont County, WY) – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the Department is investing $1.4 billion to help a diverse rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance. Nine Wyoming businesses and organizations received a total of $23.2 million in funding.
“Supporting our rural businesses and agricultural producers is so important,” said Janice Blare, Wyoming Acting State Director. “The recent funds awarded in Wyoming will allow for job creation or retention, while ensuring revenue streams continue. I’m very pleased that we will be helping these vital entities keep the lights on!”
The Department recently invested $20.83 million in five Business & Industry loan guarantees:
- First Interstate Bank provided a loan for the acquisition of an industrial machining and welding business, saving 35 jobs and creating 10 new jobs.
- First National Bank of Gillette provided a loan to a telecommunications company to support its operations and provide additional working capital needs to deploy broadband services.
- First Northern Bank of Wyoming provided a loan to a restaurant to support its operations, including the addition of 3 jobs to its workforce and saving 21 jobs.
- First State Bank of Newcastle provided a loan to construct a hotel which will create 9 jobs.
- Pinnacle Bank of Wyoming provided a loan to a performance and repair shop to purchase vehicle parts and supplies, saving the company 4 jobs.
Three Wyoming agricultural operations received Value-Added Producer Grants totaling $575,000, creating 23 jobs statewide. Grant funds will be used to process, package, advertise and market products, as well as conduct a third-party feasibility study for a new organic processing facility. All grants will increase the customer base and generate additional revenue for the producers.
Central Wyoming College received one of 10 Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grants awarded nationally. The grant will fund the Bootstrap Innovation Center in Riverton, which will focus on industrial clusters specific to Wyoming and Fremont County in particular. These include agriculture/equine, tourism, hospitality, light manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
The funding announced will help people and businesses in diverse communities and industries throughout 49 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. And it will help entrepreneurs, business cooperatives and farmers in nearly every state create jobs, grow businesses and find new and better markets for the items they produce.