News Column

Heitkamp Announces Significant Federal Funding to Grow ND Small Businesses

August 18, 2014



DEVILS LAKE, N.D., Aug. 18 -- The office of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., issued the following news release:

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation and member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today announced $120,000 in federal funding to help grow small businesses in rural North Dakota communities.

The funding, made available through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development which Heitkamp oversees as chair of the Subcommittee, will be used to develop more commercial business space in Garrison and help improve small business management and efficiency in Stutsman County. The funding is part of the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program.

"The economic success we've seen in North Dakota wouldn't be possible without our small businesses leading the way," said Heitkamp. "Because of their growth and innovation, our state's small businesses are true economic engines, helping us have the lowest unemployment rate in the country. By making smart investments, particularly in rural communities like these funds will do, we can help make sure small businesses grow our economy in North Dakota and across the nation."

The grants are distributed as follows:

* Garrison Area Improvement Association - $96,000. The funds will be used to improve water and sewer infrastructure to develop two commercial lots, helping to alleviate the current shortage of available commercial business space in Garrison.

* South Central Dakota Regional Council - $24,000. The funds will be used to provide individual assistance to small businesses in Stutsman County to improve management and efficiency and create sustainable options for the future.

In North Dakota, small businesses make up 96 percent of all employers and employ almost 62 percent of the private-sector labor force. As a result, small businesses support a booming economy across the state, in addition to helping drive the national recovery from the Great Recession.

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