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July 1, 2003

ULM Receives Funding From USDA Rural Development

Local entrepreneurs got a boost along with the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Tuesday, July 1, when a check in the amount of $107,120 was presented to President James Cofer by Michael Taylor, State Director of USDA Rural Development. The funds were given to ULM at 9:30 a.m. in the Media Room on the 6th floor of the ULM Library.

The funds were made available to ULM through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant.

The Rural Development Entrepreneurship Program is designed to provide approximately 245 rural individuals in the area an opportunity to learn how to start and expand entrepreneuireal ventures. In addition one-on-one counseling support will be provided to assist them in identifying, assessing, developing, planning, and managing their small businesses.

In addition Rural Development funds are to be used to provide technical assistance and training to rural small businesses and low-income residents in a multi-parish area in northeast Louisiana. This Rural Business Enterprise Grant will facilitate development of small and emerging private businesses in Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Franklin, LaSalle, Madison, Morehouse, Richland, Tensas, and West Carroll Parishes.

Dr. Paul Dunn of the ULM Entrepreneurship Study Center and Small Business Development Center (ESC/SBDC) will directly supervise the Rural Development Entrepreneurship Program and will be responsible for managing the implementation of the one-on-one counseling and continuing education programs.

Cofer was proud to accept the funding from the USDA. He said, "This is truly a project where ULM and the community will both benefit. In order for the University to continue to be a strong force in this area, businesses have to become involved and stay involved. We are grateful for the funding and appreciate Mike Taylor for coming to our campus to present us with the check."

USDA Rural Development provides a full range of rural development credit services in rural Louisiana. The Louisiana Rural Development State Office is located at 3727 Government Street, Alexandria, Louisiana 71302, and the telephone number is (318) 473-7921. There are four area offices located throughout the state to serve Louisiana residents. Further information on USDA Rural Development's loan and grant programs can be obtained by visiting Rural Development's web site

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