Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of recipients for $6.45 million in grants to spur economic development and revitalization in rural communities.

"The funding will be used for a broad range of economic development and revitalization projects in some of America's neediest communities," Vilsack said. "These investments underscore the Obama Administration's commitment to foster a healthy business climate by helping small and emerging rural enterprises create jobs and economic opportunities."

The applicants were selected to receive funding through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities program and the Rural Economic Area Partnership program. These programs help communities plan and implement economic development projects. The grants to be awarded are part of USDA Rural Development's annual budget and are not funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Funding of each grant recipient is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

These applicants were selected to receive Rural Business Enterprise Grants for Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities and grants for Rural Economic Area Partnerships:

California:

• Westside Tule Enterprise Community - $99,335

• Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (Blythe Village Retail Center) - $200,000

• Redevelopment Agency of Riverside County - $675,000

• Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (Valley Estrellas Retail Center) - $200,000

• Westside Housing & Economic Network - $81,930

• Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (Cahuilla Village Retail Center) -$200,000