By Tia Lynn Ivey
The City of Madison was a awarded a $97,000 grant from the USDA earlier this month to help the City of Madison complete Phase II of its Canaan historic neighborhood redevelopment plan. According to City Planner Monica Callahan, “Funding is from the Rural Business Development Grant program which supports the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas.”
“We are proud to contribute to the rehabilitation and rejuvenation of this historic neighborhood,” said Jill Stuckey, USDA Rural Development Georgia State Director. The Gilmore House project is expected to have a three-fold benefit. First, it will create jobs in the area by developing small and emerging private businesses. Second, it will refurbish a blighted street corner. Third, it will bring much needed services to a low income neighborhood.
According to the city, the purpose of the Gilmore House is to create jobs and bring services to the Canaan historic neighborhood. “The Gilmore House is a small business incubator, a neighborhood service hub, a community kitchen and fresh food distribution center. There are four leased business spaces available. The $97,000 USDA grant will be used to assist in the build out and completion of two leased business spaces, purchase furniture and equipment, and install a much needed parking lot,” explained Callahan.
According to the city, installation of the parking lot and sidewalks will allow pedestrians and consumers to shop at the business safely without creating a parking hazard and will also invite shoppers to safely get in and out of the area. Total Phase II investment is estimated at $123,500 with $26,500 from the City of Madison, the Downtown Development Authority and private funders, $97,000 from USDA.
In Fiscal Year 2016, Georgia Rural Development awarded twelve Rural Business Development Grants totaling $899,000, see http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/ga_fy16RBDGlist.pdf for a list of awardees.
Since 2009, nationwide, USDA Rural Development has invested $13.5 billion for 5,739 water and waste infrastructure projects, benefiting 19.1 million rural residents; invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.