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How USDA Rural Business Development Grants Can Jumpstart Your Venture Through Feasibility Studies and Business Plans

Program Application Period:

Complete applications may be submitted in paper or electronic format and must be received by 4:30 p.m. local time on February 28, 2024, in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) State Office for the State where the project is located.


What does this program do?

The purpose of the program is to promote economic development and job creation projects through the awarding of grant funds to eligible entities. Applications will compete in two separate categories, business opportunity grants and business enterprise grants, for use in funding various business and community projects that serve rural areas. 


Who may apply for this program?

Grants may be made to a Public Body/Government Entity, an Indian Tribe, or a Nonprofit entity primarily serving rural areas.


USDA Feasibility Study
USDA Feasibility Study

What is an eligible area?

Rural Business Development Grant money must be used for projects that benefit rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more. Check eligible areas.


What kind of funding is available?

There is no maximum grant amount; however, smaller requests are given higher priority. There is no cost sharing requirement. There are two types of RBDG projects, Opportunity grants and Enterprise grants. Opportunity type grants are limited to up to 10 percent of the total Rural Business Development Grant annual funding. Enterprise type grants must be used on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas as specified in the grant application.


How may Enterprise type funds be used?

  • Training and technical assistance, such as project planning, business counseling and training, market research, feasibility studies, professional or/technical reports, or producer service improvements.

  • Acquisition or development of land, easements, or rights of way; construction, conversion, renovation of buildings; plants, machinery, equipment, access for streets and roads; parking areas and utilities.

  • Pollution control and abatement.

  • The capitalization of revolving loan funds, including funds that will make loans for start-ups and working capital.

  • Rural distance learning for job training and advancement for adult students.

  • Rural transportation improvement.

  • Community economic development.

  • Technology-based economic development.

  • Feasibility studies and business plans.

  • Leadership and entrepreneur training.

  • Rural business incubators.

  • Long-term business strategic planning.



USDA Feasibility Study
USDA Feasibility Study

How may Opportunity type funds be used?

  • Community economic development.

  • Technology-based economic development.

  • Feasibility studies and business plans.

  • Leadership and entrepreneur training.

  • Rural business incubators.

  • Long-term business strategic planning.


How are applications evaluated?

All applications are evaluated based on:

  • Evidence showing job creation at local businesses.

  • Percent of non-federal funding committed to the project.

  • Economic need in the area to be served.

  • Consistency with local economic development priorities.

  • Experience of the grantee with similar efforts.


Other factors are described in the Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA).

 

How do we get started?

  • Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or state offices. Applicants are advised to view program information specific to your local or state office to learn about local application timelines, concept paper requirements, etc.

  • Grant awardees will need to complete required paperwork and comply with the terms and conditions of the award. Contact your local or state office for details.


What governed the predecessor programs of Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG), as well as all awards given before FY 2015?


Publisher Details: SBA Feasibility Study Consultants: USDA Feasibility Study Consultants: Feasibility-Study.comhttps://www.feasibility-study.com/


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