HURON, S.D. –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $345,995 in South Dakota to help rural businesses create jobs and increase economic opportunity in rural South Dakota.

The investment, in the form of grants, will help small and emerging businesses.

“These grants provide capital for small and emerging businesses, strengthening economic growth which plays an essential role in furthering prosperity for small rural communities,” Julie Gross, South Dakota USDA Rural Development state director, said in a statement.

USDA is awarding the grants through the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. Recipients, according to the news release, may use the funds to provide technical assistance, training, and business incubation services for job creation activities, along with Revolving Loan Funds and Feasibility Studies for small rural businesses.

The following are some of the projects being funded in South Dakota:

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· Four Bands Community Fund, Inc. will use a $99,999 grant to assist ten small and emerging businesses on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation with technical assistance through training. These small businesses will have access to hands-on and classroom assistance and will benefit from economic development. The project will create 19 jobs.

· Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will use a $42,500 grant to finance a feasibility study for a potential grocery store. The grocery store will serve the Lower Brule community and surrounding area.

· City of Gregory will use a $49,000 grant to provide a revolving loan fund, which will increase success and economic growth in the community and surrounding areas. The project will create 12 jobs.

· Choose Clark County will use a $99,000 grant to establish a revolving loan fund that will be used to make loans and assist start-up or expanding businesses. This assistance will increase success and economic growth in the community and surrounding areas.

· Value Added Ag Development Center, Inc. will use a $55,496 grant to provide technical assistance and education to assist five targeted businesses in five counties in South Dakota. This project will provide feasibility analysis and business planning to add value to these small and emerging businesses. The project will create 18 jobs and save eight.

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