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Center for Applied Research and Technology Receives $50K USDA Grant to Assist Technology-based Business Development in WV

  • Created
    Thursday, October 11 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

cart(Bluefield)—The Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART) at Bluefield State College has been awarded a $50,000 Rural Business Opportunity Grant to provide technical assistance for improving the success rate of technology-based entrepreneurial business development in West Virginia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding was announced by WV State Director Bobby Lewis and U.S. Representative Nick Rahall.

"The grant will provide technical assistance that helps technology-based small businesses and entrepreneurs to turn their product and service ideas or research into an actual working prototype." CART CEO Bruce Mutter said. Rapid prototyping leads to business development, resulting in greater access to capital and increased, quality employment opportunities for West Virginia citizens, he observed.

Approximately 90% of West Virginia businesses have 20 or fewer employees, and federal statistics indicate that small business owners are essential to the state's economy. "Although West Virginia is making strides in utilizing technology in business and industry, it continues to face challenges in growing its technology industries and transitioning its economy to one that is based on innovation," Mutter explained.

"This CART project will benefit the economic development of rural southern West Virginia on several fronts that include: substantively increasing salaries for a small number of technology-based jobs, providing new employment opportunities arising from new technology-based businesses, and strengthening the diversification of several regional businesses," he summarized.