MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The United States Department of Agriculture is helping rural West Virginia communities grow using federal grant money.

The USDA held a roundtable discussion this afternoon at its headquarters in Morgantown meeting with this year’s Rural Business Development Grant recipients. Eleven organizations throughout the state received nearly $660,000 to use towards development. Eight of the 11 grant recipients participated in Wednesday’s roundtable event, discussing how they will spend the money, including utility improvements for an industrial park in Philippi, a new Convention of Visitor’s Bureau in Webster County and a revolving loan fund to support small businesses for the Fairmont Community Development Partnership.

“Our Rural Business Development Grant is vitally important because it provides an opportunity for these organizations and mostly these rural communities to support small business through different programs,” said Ryan Thorn, USDA Rural Development State Director. “To help support marketing, whether it’s to help incubate new businesses, it’s just really important for them to have that opportunity to grow.”

Rural Development is currently accepting grant applications for the 2023 fiscal year.