July 02, 2010


USDA grants to help Eastern Shore businesses add value, create jobs

WASHINGTON , D.C. - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and B arbara A. Mikulski and Congressman Frank M. Kratovil ( all D-MD) today announced economic development organizations located on Maryland 's Eastern Shore will benefit from $120,000 in USDA Rural Development grants. The grants, awarded to organizations in Talbot, Caroline and Wicomico counties, will allow them to assist their downtown businesses and create local jobs. Three Eastern Shore organizations received grants of $40,000 each.


"I am a strong supporter of Rural Development grants because they provide important support and assistance for business growth and opportunity on the Eastern Shore ," said Senator Cardin.  "From agricultural products to new start up businesses, these grants will translate into future jobs and economic growth."


 "This is about jobs, jobs, jobs. These are family businesses and small businesses in Maryland . If the business suffers, the whole community suffers," Senator Mikulski said. "These grants provide the recipients money to grow their businesses, bringing jobs to Maryland 's Eastern Shore ."


 "The best way to get the economy moving again is to invest in the small businesses that create jobs and generate economic activity within our communities," said Congressman Kratovil .  "This federal investment represents a commitment to local small businesses and a commitment to rebuilding an economy that concentrates on building up the little guys instead of bailing out the big guys."


Urban Salisbury Inc. will use its grant to conduct a feasibility study for a city market. If the study finds that the city market is a viable venture, the city will expand its food and beverage retail businesses and acquire exterior space for a farmer's market, creating jobs for the farmers and watermen who will operate and supply it. Urban Salisbury Inc. is an economic development partnership under the National Trust Main Street Center and the Main Street program of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Caroline Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that works to stimulate economic development and increase tourism, will use the funds to broaden Caroline County 's potential as a business center and tourism destination. The organization will use its grant to build local highways and trails, and support the growing eco-tourism ventures in towns such as Greensboro and Denton .

Mid-Shore Regional Council will use its grant to assist Shore Gourmet in increasing its marketing and distribution efforts. Shore Gourmet is a business development initiative formed to promote and sustain food and agricultural value-added businesses in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties .

These funds were awarded under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), a USDA program that finances and facilitates the development of small and emerging rural businesses, helping to fund business incubators and employment related adult education programs. The RBEG program stimulates rural development through initiatives such as land development, building renovation, pollution abatement and technical training.


For more information on the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, please go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/rbeg.htm