The Puerto Rico Community Foundation will split $152,492 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding among three local nonprofits — the Centro de La Mujer y la Nueva Familia in Barranquitas, Corporación para el Desarrollo Económico de Ceiba, and Micro Empresarios de Vieques — to enable them to create jobs and economic opportunities in rural communities.
The funding is part of the USDA Rural Development’s Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI), which requires recipients to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants. The trio of beneficiaries is among 48 community-based organizations in 26 states chosen for funding.
“These grants will bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of regional organizations to help small and emerging businesses,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “They also will help organizations experienced in economic development create more job opportunities for rural residents across the country.”
The USDA does not provide the grants directly to businesses or individuals. Instead, the agency awards the money to public or nonprofit intermediaries, such as the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, said José Otero-García, Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico.
“Much of the RCDI funding is regional in nature and underscores the USDA’s support of locally based development strategies,” he said.