The time to start applications for many 2017 grant programs is now. One in particular is the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USDA state offices are already working with interested entities on their 2017 submissions. If you want to know if RBDG is right for you, now is the time to find out.
Are you a public entity (see list below) with a good idea to grow local businesses but lack the funds to implement it? Are you a small business that needs assistance from your local town or development agency?
The Rural Business Division at USDA administers the Rural Business Development Grant program (RBDG) that is specifically geared towards public entities in rural areas of less than 50,000 population. RBDG is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.
RBDG grants can be used to acquire or develop land, buildings, plants and equipment; build or improve access roads, parking areas, utility extensions, and water and waste disposal facilities; provide technical assistance; establish revolving loan funds; and to support rural distance learning programs that provide educational or job training.
Rural public entities including, but not limited to:
- State agencies
- Nonprofit Corporations
- Institutions of Higher Education
- Federally-recognized Tribes
- Rural Cooperatives
Award size. Generally, grants range from $10,000 up to $500,000. There is no cost sharing requirement.
Eligible areas include, but are not limited to:
- Training and technical assistance, such as project planning, business counseling/training, market research, feasibility studies, professional/technical reports, or product/service improvements
- Community economic development
- Feasibility studies and business plans
- Long-term business strategic planning
Timing. Applications for 2017 will be reviewed early next year but now is the time to start working with Capacity Business Consulting on your submission.