The Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network (FLRPnet) in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, announced today the award of a USDA Rural Business Development Grant to support its Food Business Incubation Program (FoodBIP). FoodBIP is a technical support program for the Finger Lakes food and beverage manufacturing sector. FoodBIP launched in December of 2018 serving four counties.

The $86,500 award will provide industry-specific technical support to an expanded region including Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins and Yates counties. FoodBIP is developing the food sector’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in the rural Finger Lakes through technical assistance, connecting local food manufacturers to wholesale markets, and coordinating the food-sector value chain. The funding supports the program through 2020.

“Following the launch of FoodBIP in December of 2018, we are pleased to expand to serve this large rural region in the heart of the Finger Lakes” says Dan Fessenden, Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network. “FoodBIP is stimulating the growth of the Finger Lakes region’s nascent local-foods industry. We are excited to work with farm-based processors and other food manufacturers. These food and beverage entrepreneurs are eager for additional support to help them connect to their markets and grow jobs in the region.”

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Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network (FLRPnet) (formerly known as TCAD Foundation) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that was created by TCAD in 2013 to extend the capacity and reach of economic development efforts in the Finger Lakes region.