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InterAmerican University’s SBTDC gets $750K USDA grant

The Puerto Rico Small Business & Technology Development Centers represented by its host institution, the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico have received a $750,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture for its AgriBIZ Learning and Business Development Program, the federal agency confirmed.

The funding comes from the USDA’s 2501 Program, also called the “Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program,” for Fiscal 2022.

The purpose of the Puerto Rico SBDTC learning, and business development center is to provide training, capacity building and assist entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico in the USDA program funding opportunities and to start up their business in areas related to agriculture.

“This program will teach participants the business start-up process, business plan creation, financing, new technologies, and the specific needs of the Puerto Rican population. Through this program we will increase the agricultural businesses in Puerto Rico and the production of local products,” the SBDTC stated in its proposal to the USDA.

“This results in the decrease of the need of exported products and increase in the quality of the products served in our island,” it added.

The $750,000 grant is part of a global $71 million that the USDA announced to support underserved communities across the US and its territories.

“This is a major step in the right direction as the Biden-Harris Administration continues to ensure underserved groups can more fully access and participate in federal programs and services,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“We are committed to building a different USDA. One that is steadfast in our actions, mindset and culture around equality and justice for all. We need to not only envision a different future, but also build a path to make it possible,” he said.

The 2501 Program extends USDA’s outreach to underserved communities by partnering with nonprofit and community-based organizations and higher education institutions to provide technical assistance and training.

USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement administers the program. This investment enables underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters get needed resources to support a successful farming operation and increase profits, the agency noted.

Under this investment, USDA is investing $36.1 million in grants to 52 organizations. Grants are awarded to higher education institutions and nonprofit and community-based organizations to extend USDA’s engagement efforts in underserved and veteran communities.

The 2501 Program has awarded 615 grants totaling $194 million since 2010.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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