NH Delegation Announces $350K through NBRC & USDA to Support Small Businesses & Promote Economic Growth in North Country Communities
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will receive $350,000 to support small businesses and promote economic growth in North Country Communities.
Specifically, the funding was awarded through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) State Economic and Infrastructure Development Investment Program, and will increase SBDC’s business advising capacity in Coos, Carroll and Sullivan counties. The expanded business advising capacity will support an estimated 250-300 existing small businesses, create up to 15-20 new businesses, generate $7-8 million in new capital for investment and create and retain up to 200 jobs.
“This federal grant is a critical investment in our North Country small businesses and communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “By allowing the SBDC to provide expert guidance and education to more North Country entrepreneurs, this funding will boost local economies and strengthen the resilience of small businesses amid the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll continue to fight for funding that invests in the future economic growth and development of Granite State communities.”
“The North Country is home to a diverse array of innovative businesses that are critical to the region’s ability to thrive,” Senator Hassan said. “This federal funding will support small businesses by providing educational services that will help them continue to grow, and I will keep working to support our North Country communities.”
“The North Country benefits when local businesses and entrepreneurs have the support they need to thrive,” said Representative Kuster. “The professional advice provided by the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will help move North Country businesses and owners forward, and the federal funding announced today will bolster the reach of this guidance. As we continue efforts to fully recover and rebuild from the consequences of COVID-19, I will keep working to enhance local economies and deliver critical support to Granite State communities so no one is left behind.”
“These funds from the Northern Border Regional Commission will provide critical support to small businesses and boost economic development in rural communities across New Hampshire,” said Representative Pappas, co-Chair of the bipartisan House Small Business Caucus. “I’ll continue working to ensure the NBRC and the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center receive the necessary funding to support our Main Street businesses and help create new jobs right here in New Hampshire.”
“We are thrilled that the Northern Border Regional Commission has committed their support and funding to the NH Small Business Development Center. NBRC's USDA grant funds will allow us to significantly increase our advising and educational services in Coos, Carroll, and Sullivan Counties. Expanding our outreach efforts in these regions has been a priority and now we have a sustainable plan to do so,” said Liz Gray, State Director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center.
The NBRC provides federal support throughout northern New Hampshire through grants that spur economic and community development in rural communities. Shaheen has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018. With support from Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), the legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County. Shaheen has also worked to included language to ensure portions of NBRC funds be directed to assist rural communities affected by past mill closures, as well as support new markets and the infrastructure needs of the forest products industry. Last year, Shaheen led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers including the NH Congressional Delegation calling for the inclusion of dedicated funding for the NBRC in COVID-19 relief legislation. In the government funding legislation signed into law in December, Shaheen and Hassan helped secure $30 million for the NBRC, which is a $5 million increase above the FY2020 funding level and the highest the program has ever been funded. That legislation also included a Shaheen and Hassan priority of eliminating the non-federal match requirement on FY2020 NBRC awards and future awards related to COVID-19 recovery, reducing potential hurdles to increased participation among eligible communities. Last month, Shaheen announced that she helped secure $35 million for the NBRC in bipartisan funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022 that passed the committee and will next be considered by the full Senate, which is a $5 million increase above the FY2021 funding level and the highest the program has ever been funded.