The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that five New Hampshire non-profits and municipalities received a total of $212,795 in grants through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program to support the start-up or expansion of rural New Hampshire businesses.

“Emerging and developing businesses are the backbone of rural communities,” said New Hampshire State Director Ted Brady, “These five Rural Business Development Grants provide rural businesses with a network of people and things that can help them grow and overcome the unique challenges to starting and growing a rural small business.”

The 2015 New Hampshire USDA Rural Development Rural Business Development Grant recipients include:

  • Groveton Regional Economic Action Team: $49,000 to create an infrastructure plan at the site of the former Wausau Paper Mill and Groveton Paperboard mill sites.
  • City of Franklin: $50,000 to hire a downtown business coordinator.
  • Northern Community Investment Corporation: $28,000 to provide technical assistance and consulting to small and emerging businesses.
  • University of New Hampshire: $38,795 to complete a market feasibility study on cold hardy kiwifruit.
  • Winchester Economic Development Corporation, Inc.: $47,000 to provide technical assistance to small and expanding businesses in Winchester.

Brady said the Groveton Regional Economic Action Team will use a $49,000 grant to hire a consultant to create an infrastructure development plan and design for the former Wausau Paper Mill and Groveton Paperboard mill sites. The current owner, Chapman Development and Chapman Steel and Demolition, is working with local partners, including Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC), to redevelop the mill site into a commercial area in order to attract businesses and jobs back to the area. NCIC’s Cathy Conway said a lack of infrastructure development is a major barrier to the redevelopment of this site.  She noted that this grant will take the project one step closer to providing new employment opportunities in Groveton.