Grants awarded to Valley organizations

Three Rural Business Development Grants have been awarded to organizations in the San Luis Valley from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The first grant for $30,000 to the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition, Inc. of Alamosa, will assist a new local food cooperative with administrative and board of director development. The funds will also help “develop a detailed marketing plan that will culminate with a product showcase for potential buyers of their varied produce and products in Denver,” according to the press release from USDA.

Second on the list, is the First Southwest Community Fund, also in Alamosa for $93,000.  The grant will be matched by $12,500 from the Southern Ute Reservation. USDA said this grant will be used to establish a revolving micro-loan fund to focus on small business development within the Reservation to increase economic development and build “financial stability for small businesses in the area.” Once the original loans are repaid, the fund will then be able to make new loads to qualifying businesses.

The third grant also went to is the First Southwest Community Fund for a business in Del Norte. This $25,000 grant will be used to invest explore the creation of a local washing/packing facility for an organic egg producer in Del Norte, rather than shipping their eggs 260 miles to Denver for washing and packing.

Two other grants were awarded from USDA: to the City of Glenwood Springs for $93,000 to benefit the counties of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel; and to Colorado Community Revitalization Association, Inc. to benefit the rural towns of Brush, Lamar and Silverton for $20,000.