The Cooperative Development Institute is pleased to announce that we have received four recent grants from the US Department of Agriculture in support of cooperative development.
This year marks the 19th time that CDI has received the Rural Cooperative Development Grant. This funding supports our work as the Northeast’s “one-stop shop” for cooperative business assistance, training and networking. This past year, the RCDG allowed CDI to work with over 60 individuals and groups free of charge for up to 10 hours, and supported our work on 20 consultation projects and over 30 intensive projects. We helped start two new rural cooperatives and helped two others incorporate in preparation for converting to cooperatives in the next few months. Additionally, we participated in over 33 educational events reaching over 1200 people. With this year’s $200,000 award, we will continue to provide excellent services to the rural Northeast, helping the region build equity and security through cooperative ownership.
The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant allows CDI to provide in-depth, highly specialized assistance to groups such as immigrants and refugees, Native Americans, African Americans and Latinos, and women. With this year’s $174,665 award, we plan to work with 11 groups totaling 125 people who are working to develop vegetable, livestock, child-care, grocery, restaurant and catering businesses. The USDA funding means that we can work with groups over several years as they progress from basics, to planning, to launch, to successful business operations.
This is the third year that the USDA has awarded a $50,000 Housing Preservation Grant for the rehabilitation of homes in the scattered-site Pioneer Cooperative of Franklin County. This co-op, which was formed in 1992, serves low-income residents in Greenfield and Montague, MA. The grants have contributed to organizational and operational systems improvements along with physical renovation of homes that will contribute to the co-op’s ongoing stability.
Finally, CDI is proud to be contributing to the launch of the Morrisville Food Co-op (MoCo) in Vermont, with the help of a $30,000 Rural Business Development Grant. We are building on the excellent organizing work that MoCo members have done in their community and working with MoCo on every aspect of a successful cooperative business launch, from point-of-sale to marketing to board development.
CDI wishes to thank the USDA for its steadfast support of cooperative business enterprise in the rural Northeast. Together we are helping people help themselves to benefit from healthy local food, good jobs, and safe, affordable housing.
If you have a cooperative business idea or issue, please fill out our online Request for Assistance. We’re here to help!