WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (RD) has awarded the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center a grant for $105,000 and a loan for $500,000 to stimulate economic development and job creation on the mid and lower shores of Maryland. The grant is part of the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program, which supports rural business development, job creation and strengthens local communities.
“This Rural Development grant and loan is welcome news to the residents and businesses located on the Eastern Shore,” said Senator Cardin. “We are in difficult economic times and it’s important that we make the investments that are needed to help expand jobs and economic opportunities in rural communities.”
“My parents owned a small, neighborhood grocery, so I know what even a small loan can mean to staying in business and even growing,” said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Rural Caucus. “Many business owners want to make an investment to expand, grow their business and make hires, but in this economy, they don’t have access to the credit they need. This grant will help get rural businesses access to credit they need to create jobs on Maryland’s mid and lower shore.”
The Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that targets its resources to help business owners and entrepreneurs succeed by creating greater access to capital and by offering programs that develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.
The USDA, through its Rural Development program, administers programs that are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.