First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF) was recently awarded $25,000 on behalf of Stagecoach Organics through a Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) for small business innovation in rural Colorado.
An egg producing facility headquartered in Saguache County — one of Colorado’s three persistent poverty counties and a USDA StrikeForce County — Stagecoach Organics presently transports approximately 24,000 dozen eggs — or 48,000 pounds — 200 miles to Denver. Here they are washed and packaged under a national co-op brand, Organic Valley (OV). Stagecoach Organics is part of a producer pool with five other local egg producers.
Because of this long haul, Stagecoach Organics would like to bring egg packaging capabilities to the San Luis Valley — in order to focus on quality control and selling under their own label, locally and regionally. Overall the increased egg demand and new packaging plant will create more local jobs and enliven the already rich local agriculture economy in the San Luis Valley.
While Stagecoach Organics has experience in egg producing, they are less familiar with egg packaging. For this reason, they need a Feasibility Study to provide them with a blueprint as to whether this is feasible and how to best move forward.
Through the USDA’s RBDG, FSWCF will be able to pay up to $25,000 for the Feasibility Study.
“A vibrant agriculture community, we’re excited to continue to fuel the San Luis Valley’s small businesses,” says Jeni-Jack Goodwin, First Southwest Bank President. “Innovation and economic growth are vital parts of the farming heritage that is rooted here in the valley.”
For more information on the Rural Business Development Grant and potential 2020 grant opportunities for your rural Colorado business, please contact First Southwest Bank’s Community Development Director, Roxanne DeMarco, firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, grants are subject to Congressional approval.