Peterson announces AURI grant for small businesses

Jan 22, 2010 Issues: Economy and Jobs

(Washington , DC) – U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson announced today that the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in Crookston has been selected to receive a $99,000 grant to provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses in the biomass processing industry in seven rural Minnesota counties.  The funding is administered through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. 

“We need to strengthen and create new small businesses if we want to get the economy back on track,” Congressman Peterson said.  “That’s why this funding is so important.”

The technical assistance provided will help meet the demands of the growing biomass processing industry in Itasca, Aitkin, Stearns, Marshall , Winona, Crow Wing and Chisago counties.

Estimates suggest the grant will save and create more than 25 jobs in these counties.

USDA Rural Development’s RBEG program helps finance new and existing businesses as well as employment-related adult education programs. RBEG funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.

“This grant is going to help AURI and these counties create jobs, and that’s really what this about,” Congressman Peterson commented.  “Small businesses are the engines that drive economic growth, and AURI has always done a great job serving Minnesota and the 7th District.”

More information on Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn. More information on AURI can be found at www.auri.org.