Rural businesses earn $500,000 in forgivable loans

Rural businesses earn $500,000 in forgivable loans

CARSON CITY–A rural small business grant program launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has awarded funds to 22 small businesses in the state totaling $500,000. The Rural Business Assistance Program, called RuBA for short, was part of the CARES Act’s Community Development Block Grants, awarded by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and managed by the City of Wells and Audacity Institute.

“The overwhelming response from rural business owners who applied to the RuBA program demonstrates the considerable demand for small business funding in combination with technical assistance,” said Patty Herzog, GOED Director of Rural Economic and Community Development. “Audacity did an exceptional job meeting with community leaders from Main Streets and Chambers to reach underserved businesses.”

Applications for the program were accepted for several weeks from mid-August to Sept. 3, 2020. The program was only open to rural-based businesses that had been impacted by COVID-19 and had less than $2 million in annual sales.

Audacity Institute officials said during that time they received 309 applications from entrepreneurs and small business owners in 16 Nevada counties.

The applicant pool was diverse as well. The majority of applicants—55%–were female, 29% were minority, and 9% were veterans. Nearly two-thirds of the applicants were established businesses, nearly a third were newly established (after Feb. 1, 2020) and 8% were ideas.

“Research shows that innovation in rural areas mirrors that of urban areas. Businesses selected for the program represent a wide range of industries including agriculture, beauty, construction, education, food, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and technology,” said Kelly Northridge, Managing Partner at Audacity Institute.

Each of the program awardees will receive up to $25,000 in forgivable loans, forgiven after completion of a 9-month online business training and mentoring program which begins this month.

Businesses selected to participate in the RuBA program are:

  • Bristlecone Outfitters and Trailhead Motel – Baker, White Pine
  • NIK N WILLIES PIES – Gardnerville, Douglas
  • Mindy Carter DBA Carter Hair Design – Wells, Elko
  • Lotspeich Family Farm – Deeth, Elko
  • GREEN UP – Carson City, Carson
  • Emm Chiropractic Services,  DBA- Clearview Chiropractic – Carson City, Carson
  • Paper Sails LLC – Gardnerville, Douglas
  • VAN-TASTIC FASHIONS – Tonopah, Nye
  • Salt & Sucre – Baker, White Pine
  • Valera’s Bakery – Sparks, Washoe
  • Secure Exits, LLC – Fallon, Churchill
  • YOUTH Positive – Genoa, Douglas
  • Jazi’s Greenz LLC – Carson City, Carson
  • Star Village L.L.C. (Star Village Coffee) DBA – Verdi, Washoe
  • IC Breakout LLC – Reno, Washoe
  • Affordable IT Services – Carson City, Carson
  • Skin Therapy & Wellness – Winnemucca, Humboldt
  • Taqueria El Compa – Wells, Elko
  • Melody J. Van Camp, DBA Sew Krazy – Ely, White Pine
  • Del Aguila LLC and Fresh Bite Food & Spirits – Pahrump, Nye
  • Parkridge Services LLC DBA Spring Creek Sweet Shop – Spring Creek, Elko
  • Nevada Built Steel – Spring Creek, Elko