USDA Funding and Technical Assistance Programs for Small Wood Products Businesses By Larry Swan, U.S. Forest Service and John Jebian, USDA Rural Development
Background • Forest Products Utilization and Mktg Specialist, “stump” to “markets” • Focus on forest mgt. and mfg. residues, and use of lower value wood products • Primarily OR and CA (lately); • OR, Business Development Dept. • CA, USFS; • International and Fire Assignments
Presentation Outline • Purpose: Brief overview of agency grant & loan programs designed for small businesses. • How to figure out what you might want to do? • How to find an appropriate program and who to talk to? • Examples of USFS grant programs. • Available for individual consults afterwards.
Key Points About Government Grant Programs • Public purpose. • Often administered by local offices and organizations. • Loans are preferred. • Seldom for operating capital. • Nothing is “free”.
Examples of Who to Contact? • Local economic development districts and departments • Resource Conservation & Development Districts • Non-profits • State econ. development dept. and agencies • Federal agencies
Key Questions For Company • What specifically do I want to do to improve economic viability of company? • What is purpose and evaluation criteria of grant or loan program?
How to Find Out About Relevant Programs? • Trade association members • Media announcements • Speak to appropriate offices, organizations and agencies • Attend local economic development conferences
USDA Forest Service Grant Programs • Woody Biomass Utilization Grants (WBUG) • Congressional earmarks • Sometimes partner or try to leverage other existing grant programs.
Specific Example – WBUG Program • Purpose? • Grant size and # of applicants? • How many winners and how much? • Successful examples? • Evaluation criteria? • Timing and effort?
Congressional Earmarks • Pacific NW and NSO • Midwest and EAB • S. CA and drought/MPB/fires • Colorado and MPB
Hot Button Grant Topics • Job creation and retention • Renewable energy • Sustainability
Contact Information • Larry Swan USDA Forest Service • Email firstname.lastname@example.org • Cell 541/891-7752