Rural Development has an active Notice of Funding Availability for Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG). Grant funds may be used to assist in the economic development of rural areas by providing technical assistance for business development and economic development planning.
Eligible applicants: Local, State, or Federal government entities; nonprofit corporations; tribal entities; and cooperatives with members who are primarily rural residents and that conduct activities for the mutual benefit of the members.
Funding amounts: $7,480,000 total funds are allotted to this program in 2010, with a maximum of $250,000 available for each entity. No match required!
One-step process: Funding decisions are made on the basis of one round of applications, although Rural Development does offer a pre-review of applications if received by April 28.
Project examples: Grant funds may be used for, but are not limited to, the following purposes:
- Identify and analyze business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources. This includes opportunities in export markets, as well as feasibility and business plan studies.
- Identify, train, and provide technical assistance to existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers;
- Establish business support centers and otherwise assist in the creation of new rural businesses;
- Conduct local community or multi-county economic development planning;
- Establish centers for training, technology, and trade that will provide training to rural businesses in the utilization of interactive communications technologies to develop international trade opportunities and markets;
- Conduct leadership development training of existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers; or
- Pay reasonable fees and charges for professional services necessary to conduct the technical assistance, training, or planning functions.
Projects should be designed to help rural communities in the region create wealth so they are self-sustaining, repopulating and thriving economically, especially using any of the following USDA key strategies in sustainable ways:
- Local and regional food systems as a strategy for encouraging production agriculture and related industries in new wealth creation;
- Renewable energy generation, energy conservation, and/or climate change adaptation or mitigation as strategies for quality job creation;
- Use of broadband and other critical infrastructure as a strategy to facilitate local entrepreneurship and expansion of market opportunities for small businesses;
- Access to capital in rural areas as a strategy to ensure continuous business development and job creation/retention; and
- Innovative utilization of natural resources as a strategy to expand business opportunities.
April 28, 2010: Optional pre-review deadline.
June 28, 2010: Final application due date.
September 15, 2010: Anticipated award date.
Contact us for more information!