April 24, 2007 Business Digest

Tornado assistance offered through DUA
Federal assistance, including special Disaster Unemployment Benefits (DUA), is available to workers and self-employed individuals who became unemployed as a direct result of March’s tornado, according to a New Mexico Labor Department news release.
Applications must be made by May 7. Claims may be filed by calling the state Labor Department at 841-4000 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Claims filed after May 7 will be considered untimely and benefits denied, unless the individual provides good cause for late filing, the release said.

Applications sought for agriculture grant
Applications are being accepted for the Value-Added Producer Grant program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, according to an agency news release.

VAPG funds can be used for planning or working capital to launch a viable value-added venture, which could include renewable energy projects, the release said. Grants can provide farmers and ranchers with investment funds to expand their role in developing and marketing value-added products, creating jobs and improving financial returns for producers and farm families, according to the release.

The maximum award is $100,000 for a planning grant, and $300,000 for a working capital grant. Matching funds must be provided for grants.

Deadline for submitting a VAPG application is May 16.

Information is available online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/vadg.htm, and by contacting Eric Vigil at 761-4953 or eric.vigil@nm.usda.gov.

Business Digest is compiled by CNJ News Editor Jean Verlich. She may be contacted at 763-6991, or by e-mail:
jean_verlich@link.freedom.com