ELLENSBURGAugust 4, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Development Grant Program is investing Opportunity Grant funds in CenterFuse, Ellensburg’s Business Development Authority, to establish baseline information (inventory) of land and buildings available in Ellensburg that is currently used or could be used for rural economic development.

The USDA Rural Business Development Grants provide funds directed at supporting and developing small and emerging businesses in rural communities. Opportunity grants are awarded to eligible projects including analyzing rural business opportunities, identifying and/or providing training opportunities to rural entrepreneurs, conducting leadership development, establishing training or technology centers, and conducting technical assistance or area-wide planning activities.

Ellensburg is experiencing significant population growth. The US Census features Ellensburg in the top ten for population growth in the nation’s microregions (https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2017/cb17-44.html). We are seeing an increased interest in site location consultants who represent prospective business looking for new places to start or grow their business. This coupled with the influx of remote workers who can choose where they work, live and play are all creating pressures on our rural community.

Knowing what non-residential assets are will best serve this influx of people and businesses, with specific attention to those who are interested in starting and growing a business in Ellensburg. With an asset inventory, we will be better equipped to answer questions of prospective businesses inquiring what our community has and better promote the assets that currently exist. This project will identify available vacant land (for sale, lease or neither), available existing buildings (for sale, lease or neither) and the rates charged for lease or for sale. The result would be a robust data set for use in economic development.

CenterFuse, Ellensburg’s Business Development Authority, seeks to connect businesses with the resources so they can start, grow, and prosper. We are a Public Development Authority with nonprofit status as a 501c6 organization. Visit us online at https://ellensburgcenterfuse.com or https://startinellensburg.com .