Leahy Advances $6 Million In New Funding To Support Rural Businesses Through Senate Appropriations Committee

…Legislation Now Moves To The Full Senate…

WASHINGTON (FRIDAY, May 25, 2018) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thursday announced the Committee approved a $6 million increase for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, for a total of $40 million. The legislation now heads to consideration before the full Senate.

Leahy said: “In Vermont, rural businesses are the center of our communities. Supporting these businesses means supporting Vermont’s rural economy, and I’m proud the Committee is advancing this significant new investment for Vermonters and the American people.”

The RBDG program supports economic opportunities for rural entrepreneurs and businesses and enable them to create jobs for local residents. Given the dynamic reach of the program and overwhelming demand for assistance, increased funding is essential to ensure the growth of rural economies.

In 2017, rural businesses in seven Vermont towns received $184,500 in RBDG grants. These grants provided technical assistance to open a Co-op store, purchase new equipment to reopen an historic community bakery, and start a revolving loan fund in the Upper Valley to help businesses negatively impacted by natural disaster. Although relatively small, these grants often provided a needed boost for these businesses to thrive in rural communities.

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