Kohala Center Receives $175,000 USDA Rural Development Grant

Chris J. Kanazawa, State Director for USDA Rural Development, announced the selection of the Kohala Center, Inc., to receive a $175,000 grant. The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program.

“Through this Rural Cooperative Grant, USDA Rural Development is enabling the Kohala Center to expand its capacity to support rural cooperatives that help expand businesses, retain or create new jobs and to increase economic growth in the communities throughout our Hawaiian islands,” Kanazawa announced.

The Kohala Center is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based center for research, conservation and education. With this grant funding, the Kohala Center intends to expand the Laulima Center which supports the development of cooperative businesses with technical assistance throughout the state of Hawaii. Funding is projecting to assist 30 distinct groups, 20 existing businesses, 8 existing cooperatives, and 5 new cooperative entities.

“Given The Kohala Center’s work in strengthening Hawaii’s local economy and given the demand for business and coop development services, especially on the part of small food producers, processors and distributors, we are delighted by the USDA’s support”, said Matt Hamabata, The Kohala Center’s Executive Director. “This continuing partnership will bring Hawai’i closer to reaching our ultimate goal of a vibrant and resilient economy.”

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $172 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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