WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program has awarded $977,440 to rural communities in Ohio to expand business and job opportunities and enhance rural economies and environments. These funds include:

  • $34,199 to Grow! Highland County to support startups and small businesses in Highland County,
  • 69,248 to Cultivate, a non-profit startup incubator studio,  to enhance business incubator and technical assistance services for Madison County-based entrepreneurs,
  • $97,169 to the Appalachian Center For Economic Networks (Acenet) to bring a rural business technical assistance training series to communities in Appalachian Athens, Meigs and Morgan counties,
  • $58,582 to the University Of Akron Research Foundation to provide technical assistance for agricultural-allied and small technology companies,
  • $130,058 to the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) to develop a solutions-based bioeconomy in Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Paulding, Putnam, Williams and Wood counties,
  • $492,184 to the Village of Roseville to support the downtown revitalization effort in the Village,
  • $96,000 to the Ohio Hill Country Heritage Area to promote and elevate the use of locally-sourced materials and human capital in Ohio's original 29 Appalachian-designated counties, plus Fairfield and Pickaway counties in the central part of the state

“This is great news for small businesses across Ohio,” Brown said. “These investments are critical for our state’s economic development and will bring jobs to rural Ohio.”

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas by supporting infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.

Brown has been a leader for Ohio’s rural communities, successfully securing a number of provisions that are important to Ohio farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill. He is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years.