April 6, 2016 Edition

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Chamber hosting Lunch & Learn

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce will host a Lunch & Learn on Wednesday, April 20, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Lawrence County Meeting Room, next to the library in Walnut Ridge.

Chamber Board Chair Dina Rose said the Lunch & Learn program stems from a desire to offer programs to members of the community on topics of interest to them.

Bryan Exum, area director of USDA's Rural Development Division, will speak about funding opportunities and grants for developers and small businesses.

Cost, which will include a meal catered by Mel Fender's Chicken Shack Produce, will be $10 for Chamber members and $15 for non-members.

Exum will share information on several USDA programs.

"I will devote more time to those that will impact economic development in Lawrence County," he said.

Programs administered by the Rural Development Division include:

Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loans & Grants.

Community Facility Loans (direct & guaranteed) as well as grants.

Single Family Housing Loans for purchase, construction and rehabilitation. Also, a grant program for rehabilitation for elderly families.

Multifamily Guaranteed Housing Loans.

Water & Wastewater Loans & Grants.

Exum will provide a packet with an overview of each of these programs, as well as a "matrix" that lists all the programs. Justin Ladd, Community Facility Loan specialist, is also scheduled to discuss that program with the group.

"We will also be willing to meet with individuals one on one after the meeting if we need to," Exum said.

Registration is required by April 15. To reserve a spot call the Chamber office at 870-886-3232 or email lawrencecofc@suddenlinkmail.com.

Rose said she would like to hear suggestions on desired topics and potential speakers. Those with ideas can contact her directly, call the Chamber office or post on the Chamber Facebook page.

"This event will, hopefully, be the first of several informative and fun programs," she said.

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