PUEBLO, CO – Representative Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo, today announced that the Department of Local Affairs has approved $43,850 in Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) grants for the cities of La Junta and Rocky Ford to help create new jobs. Buentello sponsored and passed SB20-002, which cemented and strengthened the REDI grant program.
“These REDI grants are aimed at boosting our rural economies, and they’re already getting to work creating critical new jobs in Rocky Ford and La Junta,” said Rep. Buentello, D-Pueblo. “I sponsored legislation to strengthen the REDI program because we need to build an economy that works for every corner of our state. I’m proud our state is investing in our communities and working with our local partners to help more Coloradans have a fair shot at success as our economy begins to recover.”
Rocky Ford will receive a $18,850 REDI grant to continue the “Developing a Resilient Economy” project, an economic revitalization strategy that includes community and entrepreneurial trainings for existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs aimed at building essential business skills. Training topics will include building trades, agricultural businesses, value-added manufacturing, and small business management.
La Junta will receive a $25,000 REDI grant to help fund an Economic Action Plan to understand the forces shaping the business landscape and evaluate the city’s ability to respond to new opportunities and challenges. The project will also create a strategy and plan for economic development activities that support innovation, diversification, and business attraction, expansion and retention.
The REDI is a proven grant program that provides critical resources to rural communities to spur economic development and create jobs. Reps. Buentello and Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, sponsored and passed SB20-002, which codified and improved the grant program to ensure that it continues to serve rural Coloradans. The law also made improvements to the program to more successfully bolster rural economies and requires DOLA to prioritize projects that create jobs or spur critical investments in key industries in the community.