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Creighton University Economic Development Clinic Receives Funds from USDA

Creighton University Economic Development Clinic Receives Funds from USDA

The Creighton University School of Law Community Economic Development Clinic has been awarded $149,419 from USDA Rural Development to provide small, rural businesses in Nebraska and Iowa with affordable legal assistance on business law issues.

A check was presented during a recent ceremony at U. S. Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-Neb) Omaha office.

“We need small businesses to succeed in all areas of Nebraska and this grant will allow Creighton’s law school to be a part of their success,” said Congressman Terry.

“USDA Rural Development is pleased to award Creighton University with the funding needed to help implement their project that will significantly impact the sustainability of small businesses in rural areas,” said State Director Scott Blehm. “Strong, viable businesses are essential to keeping rural communities economically sound and viable.”

Through this project, the Community Economic Development Clinic will expand its’ successful economic development efforts. The funds from USDA doubles the clinic’s impact through increased efforts in rural communities of 27 Nebraska and 31 Iowa counties. Rural, small businesses will be afforded assistance on topics affecting business performance, viability and profitability. These efforts, in turn, will lead to improved economic activity within the communities, through self-sustaining work, greater career potential and the use of higher skill levels.

Assistance will be offered in areas of business structure and planning; real estate, land use and zoning; commercial financing; state and federal tax issues; bankruptcy and workouts; employment law, trusts, estates and succession plans; intellectual property (trademark, copyright and patents); and debtor and creditor relations. Technical assistance and legal representation on these issues are to be delivered through educational seminars and training as well as individualized legal assistance.

“Creighton’s legal clinics reflect the school’s mission of service. We appreciate USDA Rural Development’s support of our work, which is serving the needs of rural small-businesses and communities while training lawyers for the future,” said Steve Virgil, director of the Community Economic Development Clinic. "Small business development is a major force in creating economic opportunity in rural communities."

Creighton University’s School of Law will contribute $64,997 in additional funds for the program.

The University received funding through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Opportunity Grant program. This program makes available to public bodies, nonprofits, cooperatives and Indian Tribes monies that will provide technical assistance for business development and to conduct economic planning in rural areas. Rural is defined as those communities with populations of 50,000 or less.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.