FLORENCE – The US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development State Director Vernita F. Dore recently announced that the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, Inc., (NESA) received a $50,000 grant.
The grant is one of 27 awarded across the nation and one of five regional grants highlighted. Funding is made available through USDA Rural Development assistance under the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program.
NESA will use these funds to develop a strategic plan and feasibility study for the recruitment of value-added processors and agribusiness. NESA is a well-established regional economic development alliance representing nine counties in northeastern South Carolina. Of those counties, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg are designated as Persistent Poverty counties. The strategic plan made possible through the RBOG will assist NESA as it seeks to further the agribusiness economy in this region. The NESA Region is a prime location for the agribusiness industry given its vast agricultural production capacity and strong history of agricultural excellence.
Dore said, "These funds will be used efficiently to establish a foundation to create jobs and support small businesses in agriculture. This in turn will increase sustainability in the region."
The will be administered by USDA Rural Development’s Business and Cooperative Services Program.
NESA’s primary objective is to significantly enhance the quality of life for residents of the region by creating additional jobs and capital investment within the existing industry base, recruiting new companies and expanding tourism-related development. The alliance is a public-private partnership supported in part by funding from each of the nine counties it serves as well as private sector supporters.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. Rural Development promotes economic development by providing loan and grant programs to finance and foster growth in business development, homeownership, and critical community and technology infrastructure.
For more information regarding USDA Rural Development programs, contact the area office at (843) 669-9686, or visit USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.