USDA Awards $490K to Projects Designed to Spur Growth For WA Small Farms and Rural Businesses

Eleven projects win competitive grants to fund projects like job training, marketing assistance, and infrastructure improvements in rural communities; Organizations in Douglas, Kittitas, Spokane, Kitsap, Chelan, Skagit & Pierce counties receive funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell announced that $490,000 has been awarded to assist rural small businesses in the State of Washington through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Development grant program.

The competitive grants help businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Funds can be used to support technical assistance, training, and other activities to help these businesses grow. 

“These grants will help grow our agricultural businesses and communities in the State of Washington by investing in the next generation of farmers and helping rural communities attract more visitors,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Whether it’s promoting the wine industry at Lake Chelan, growing butcher apprenticeship programs in rural Puget Sound communities, or creating more kitchens for food entrepreneurs in Spokane, we need to continue to help local economies thrive.”

The USDA awarded grants to 11 projects in the State of Washington.

City of Bridgeport, $50,000        

The grant will help the city plan and develop an ADA crosswalk and sidewalk connecting downtown businesses to a parking lot expansion, part of Bridgeport's five-year revitalization plan. 

City of Bridgeport, $25,000        

The grant will fund the replacement of two welcome signs that burned in the 2020 Pearl Hill wildfire. 

Ellensburg Business Development Authority, $25,000

The grant will pay to create an inventory of local land and buildings that are available for use by businesses looking to relocate to Ellensburg.

Kitchen Spokane, Spokane Valley, $82,251

The grant will support training efforts for prospective and existing food businesses in the Spokane area, including access to commercial kitchens.

Kitsap Conservation District, Poulsbo, $21,475  

The grant will support training for farmers, with a focus on farm business management, farm succession planning, and land access. 

Lake Chelan Grape Growers Association, Chelan, $47,500

The funds will support marketing efforts to bring wine tourists to Chelan County, including a winery map and monthly banners for city light poles.

Northwest Agribusiness Center, Mount Vernon, $60,000

The grant will fund training to improve food producers' marketing and business skills.

Northwest Agribusiness Center, Buckley, $48,774

The grant will support the planning stages of the Mount Rainier Creamery and retail store, a family-run dairy in Buckley.                            

Northwest Agribusiness Center, Mount Vernon, $30,000

The grant will fund butcher apprenticeship training throughout the Puget Sound region. 

Seattle Economic Development Fund, $50,000  

The grant will fund training for current and potential farmers in Skagit County, including free one-on-one business coaching and access to capital. 

Viva Farms, Mount Vernon, $50,000

The grant will fund training for small and emerging organic farmers in Skagit County.