Mid-Missouri Organizations Get Funding Tips

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COLUMBIA - The office of US Senator Claire McCaskill and USDA Rural Development hosted a federal grant and loan information session Monday.  It was geared toward local organizations to give them helpful resources and tools to make it easier to apply for and access federal grants and loans.  

About 30 people attended the information session at Daniel Boone Regional Library.  Representatives from the Missouri branch of the USDA's Rural Development went through a powerpoint and answered questions throughout the presentation.

Sheena Waggoner attended the event for Club Z.  Waggoner said it's a faith-based organization that provides alternative entertainment and a positive outlet for youth.  Club Z had applied for loans but they were not able to secure those.  Waggoner said Club Z had a dfficult time because it didn't have a lot of information when it tried to apply.

"We are looking for some alternative methods like this workshop to find more ways to tap into resources for our business," said Waggoner.

Business Program's Director Matt Moore was one of the event's speakers.  He said the goal of these sessions is to raise awareness for these types of programs in rural communities.  There were similar sessions in Hannibal and Kirksville last week.

"I think it can be a maze at times when somebody asks themselves the question what are the types of assistance are available.  The federal government is obviously a very large organization and there are a lot of different agencies so I think that can be a real challenge to someone, is not having access to that information."

According to a press release from the office of McCaskill, McCaskill believes "helping organizations learn how to access federal dollars through competitive grant programs is an important step in ensuring strong community infrastructure and keeping the awarding of federal dollars transparent."

Moore said the deadline for applying for these federal loans and grants is usually at the end of the fiscal year, late September.  He said they are working to get the information out now so people have time to learn and apply by the deadline.