Focusing on international markets, renewable energy and a community’s inherent assets, rural businesses find dynamic paths to prosperity. To see this in action, I headed to Boonville, New York.
Mark Bourgeois was born and raised in Boonville and today is President of CJ Logging Equipment and 3B Timber. A stable employer in the region, 3B Timer processes softwood trees on-site into utility poles. 3B Timber utilized Rural Development’s Business & Industry (B&I) loan guarantee to expand their operations. As Mark explained, his company now exports 80% of its poles to Canada, expanding international trade and supporting job creation in the region and state.
Boonville resident Randy Bowers is president and owner of Delta Hardwood Flooring and was eager to discuss his company’s exciting growth prospects. The recipient of two USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants, Delta Hardwood purchased a biomass heating system and installed energy-efficient lighting in its large shop, which sat vacant for eight years before Bowers brought it back to life. Since its 2013 beginnings, Delta Hardwood has expanded its workforce from 20 to 40 with plans to double yet again.
Boonville may not be known for its big buildings or crowded streets, but it does have some of the most delicious and pristine water you can drink. Owner-managers Paul Rayhill and Wade Abraham of Alder Creek Beverages recognized this incredible asset and took advantage of a USDA B&I loan guarantee to purchase Nirvana Inc., a struggling water brand from bankruptcy. Keeping Nirvana’s facilities operating, Rayhill and Abraham were able to save 50 jobs in a community that has seen persistent economic challenges, providing the community with a sense of sustainability.
These three businesses are examples of how rural communities are made better by the residents who work hard to maintain their stability. Rural businesses consistently keep Americans fed, clothed, housed, and warm while contributing these vital resources to the global market and USDA Rural Development is proud to help them succeed.
To read more about how USDA is getting results for US businesses looking to expand their trade potential, visit #USDAResults.