Elgin Local Food Center Receives Kick Off Funding
April 18, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ELGIN, TEXAS – The Elgin Economic Development Corporation Board voted to pledge $800,000 toward construction of the Elgin Local Food Center, known locally as the ELF. The ELF will be a local entrepreneur incubator, shared use commercial kitchen, and local food education center. This partnership with the non-profit Texas Center for Local Food, the ELF, will cost approximately $1.7M to build and will require $250,000 in operating capital. The Texas Center for Local Food will raise the additional $1.15M needed to build and operate the ELF by September, 2019.
“People in Elgin need jobs in Elgin. Over 60% of our workforce drives to Austin daily for work and the ELF will provide opportunities to start their own businesses and hire people locally”, said Molly Alexander, Elgin Economic Development Board member and downtown business owner. “We recognize economic development starts within the community, investing in local businesses and local entrepreneurship is a critical part of developing jobs and building a healthy local economy long-term.”
“The ELF is an essential component of Elgin’s economic development strategy”, added Owen Rock, Elgin Economic Development Director. “We are building a local food industry cluster focused on entrepreneurship, local jobs, food manufacturing and agriculture. Demand for local food is huge and growing; Elgin is attracting food businesses, growing our area farms, and supporting local food manufacturing. We have been known for our sausage industry for over 100 years, and it makes sense to grow and invest in building upon our success.”
Sue Beckwith, Director of the Texas Center for Local Food expects to raise the $1.15M by working with local foundations, private investors, and community leaders. Curt Nelson, a partner at Austin Foodshed Investors is eager to get started, “The ELF is pivotal in developing our regional food system by building strong businesses that are linked to strong farms to meet the huge demand for local food in Texas. Elgin is 200 miles from 18 million people and is perfectly situated to meet the growing demand for local food. We’re here to help make this happen”.
“This is a community project, driven by local people, families, and farmers”, said Sue Beckwith. “The ELF leverages Elgin’s tremendous local food and agricultural assets: ACC Elgin Sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship program, Elgin ISD Farm-to-School, ATX Jerky, and family farms and ranches. Support from the USDA through their Local Food Promotion Program and Rural Business Development Program has been essential to develop the ELF and ensure that it generates breakthrough economic development and public health benefits for rural communities like Elgin”.
The Texas Center for Local Food was created in 2016 to strengthen the economic viability of Texas rural communities and family farms through local food economic development. For more information, contact Sue Beckwith sueb@TexasLocalFood.org or 512-496-1244.
The Elgin Economic Development Corporation provides economic development support for Elgin, Texas through progressive vision, solid community planning and active incentive programs. Elgin is located 20 miles east of Austin along the high-growth Highway 290 corridor with a smart, diverse, well-grounded population that understands tradition and innovation. For more information, contact Owen Rock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-229-3226.
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