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$65,000 USDA grant finances strategic marketing for two Randolph companies

first_imgLEDdynamics hired a new employee this week – and they hope to hire more. Despite the economic downturn, this Randolph business, a national leader in energy efficient LED lighting technology, is growing. In part, they credit their success to marketing efforts funded with Recovery Act dollars.Through a $65,000 USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant backed with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC) was able to finance marketing services and technical assistance for two Randolph companies – LEDdynamics and the Randolph Farm Stand.LEDdynamics developed the first true LED replacement bulb that fits in a standard fluorescent light. Unlike the billions of fluorescent bulbs in use around the world, the EverLED tubes contain no mercury or lead.  They also last up to five times as long as fluorescent tubes and use 33-percent less power. These and other innovations have put the company on the cutting-edge of the green energy business. What they needed was a way to get the word out.“It’s hard for a small Vermont business to get things out in the tech world,” said Cheryl Gilbert, Chief Financial Officer for the company.With RACDC’s assistance, they were able to work on marketing efforts, which included the creation of a new logo, targeted campaigns, an updated website, and the addition of a marketing manager. Since the grant was obligated in September 2009, the company has seen an uptick in business and added five employees.“To grow at all in this economy is amazing,” said Gilbert, whose company supports 28 technical jobs in this agrarian based rural community.The Randolph Farm Stand has also begun to make changes due to the strategic marketing funding.  One of the big transformations the company made was the adoption of a new name – Chef’s Market – to better reflect their products and services.Chef’s Market is a full service small grocer connecting producers of high quality local produce with consumers who value local agriculture and high quality food. It has established itself as an important community institution in a town with fewer than 5,000 residents. Owners Scott and Tammy Aronson have also recently added a kitchen, deli and dinners “to go,” prepared by Scott, a French chef, whose grandfather once owned a French restaurant in Randolph. The couple hopes to serve a need in the community and bring their offerings to a larger audience.“We’re doing great,” said Tammy Aronson.  “Even with the economy, we’re running really well.”President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.”President Obama’s Recovery Act has helped create jobs and lay a new foundation for economic growth during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “USDA has used Recovery Act funding to create badly-needed jobs and stimulate local economies, help farmers and rural businesses make it through tough times, ensure that struggling families can put food on the table, and build and revitalize critical infrastructure in rural communities across AmericaFor more information about USDA Rural Development’s * Program in Vermont/New Hampshire contact the *Name Office at *number or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt(link is external), and for information about USDA’s Recovery Act efforts visit www.usda.gov/recovery(link is external).  More information about the Federal government’s efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov(link is external).             USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/vt(link is external).Source: USDA. Randolph, VT, February 17, 2010 —#last_img read more

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