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Rural Business Development Grant - Applications Due March 29, 2019

Robin Ezzo
Release Date

USDA is Seeking Applications to Support Rural Businesses and Create Jobs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is seeking applications to support businesses and help create jobs in rural Alaska.

Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) are competitive grants designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging, private rural businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues.

Eligible applicants for the RBDG program include non-profits, public bodies, government entities, and federally-recognized Tribes.  Individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible to apply.

Funds may be used for a variety of purposes, including: technical assistance and training to rural entrepreneurs; feasibility and business plans; establishing business support centers; conducting local economic development planning; acquiring or developing land, buildings, plants and equipment to be leased to small business enterprises; establishing revolving loan programs; and supporting rural distance learning programs that provide adult educational or job training.

Approximately $135,000 may be made available in Alaska under the RBDG Program in 2019, pending the availability of federal funds. A Native American set aside that is funded through a national competition is also available for those projects where 75 percent of the benefits of the project will be received by members of a federally recognized Tribe. 

The Agency encourages applications that will help improve life in rural America. See information on the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity found at www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation.

For information on Agency Initiatives and opportunities for priority scoring points, see the Rural Business Development Grant Program Application Window and Discretionary Points unnumbered letter dated December 20, 2018.

The application deadline is March 29, 2019. In Alaska, applications should be submitted to:      USDA Rural Development
          Alaska State Office, Attn: Robin Ezzo
          800 West Evergreen, Suite 201
          Palmer, AK 99645

Prior to developing an application, interested applicants are encouraged to contact our office to discuss the proposed project and application requirements with Robin Ezzo, Business and Cooperative Programs Specialist, (907) 761-7718.