By Kiera Morgan
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded nearly $20 million through 385 grants to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. Vilsack said “these grants will strengthen the economic fabric of rural small towns and communities by providing capital to small and emerging businesses.” USDA is awarding the grants through the Rural Business Development Grant program. Oregon is receiving a total of $285,000. Recipients may use the funds to provide technical assistance, training and job-creation activities.
Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation will receive $20,000. They will be working with the OCCC Small Business Development Center in offering business advising to Lincoln County marine related businesses for growth. According to Carolyn Bauman economic development director they are seeking up to 20 marine related businesses to provide expert technical assistance to help grow their businesses at no cost to them.
Bauman said some of the grant funds will also be used to help expand the Port of Alsea. This will be to explore opportunities to expand the commercial seafood business in Waldport. Bauman said they have signed an agreement with the Small Business Development Center as a sub-contractor. They will be assisting in the advising work and doing the intake interviews with the selected businesses.
She said they are very happy to be able to get this grant that will allow working more closely with the marine related businesses in Lincoln County and helping them to grow and expand. The idea Bauman said is to help grow jobs in the marine industry to provide family wage jobs in the area.