Senator Stabenow Applauds New Support for Rural Businesses in the Thumb Region

Two new grants made possible by rural development funding in the current Farm Bill

Monday, July 30, 2018

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today announced new federal support to help create jobs and grow rural businesses along the I-69 corridor and Thumb region. 


“Small businesses are the backbone of Michigan’s economy, creating new jobs and keeping our communities strong," said Senator Stabenow. “These new investments will help our rural businesses thrive throughout this region.”


The I-69 Regional Development Corporation will receive $68,900 to support local businesses and create or save 91 jobs within seven counties, including Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Shiawassee, and Tuscola. The Tuscola County Economic Development Corp will receive $77,600 for a similar project to promote small, emerging businesses, which would support 37 jobs. Both grants will provide support to grow and sustain local businesses across the Thumb region– from offering assistance for equipment leasing to providing critical infrastructure improvements such as building access roads and parking lots.


“The fund is available to assist businesses with financing needs that result in the creation/retention of jobs in the region.  The I-69 Regional Development Corporation is pleased to be able to provide this small business tool,” stated Patricia Lucas, Executive Director of the I-69 Regional Development Corporation.


These investments come through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Rural Business Development Grants program, which is a part of the current Farm Bill authored by Senator Stabenow. With the current Farm Bill set to expire this fall, Senator Stabenow recently introduced a new bipartisan Farm Bill, which strengthens support for rural communities in Michigan.