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USDA Accepting Grant Applications to Further Economic Development

Vicki Schurman
Release Date

USDA Rural Development has announced that competitive grant applications are being accepted through the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) Program, to improve economic conditions for members of Native American tribes in rural areas.

Government entities, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, rural cooperatives and Native American tribes may apply for grants of up to $100,000.

Funding may be used to support business incubators, feasibility studies and business plans, long-term strategic business planning, leadership and entrepreneurial training, and other related efforts.  Just over $1.3 million is reserved for projects benefiting Native American communities.

“The RBOG program provides key support needed to create rural jobs and promote local and regional economic growth,” said USDA Rural Development Maxine Moul.

As an example, the Village of Walthill, Nebraska received a $50,000 RBOG that funded a complete renewable energy feasibility study and a library strategic plan which will allow the Village to determine the next phase of their economic development plan for an energy park and library expansion.  RBOG funding of $135,200 has allowed the Nebraska Indian Community College at Macy to provide entrepreneurial leadership education and training to students for job development by creating a program offered as part of its college courses list.

Applications for projects benefiting Native American communities must show that at least 75 percent of the benefits of the project will be received by members of an Indian tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other federally recognized tribal group.

The application deadlines for the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program Native American funding are June 17, 2014 for paper applications and June 13, 2014 for electronic applications.  For additional information on how to apply, see the May 2 Federal Register, page 25102 at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-02/pdf/2014-10080.pdf  or visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_RBOG.html.

To discuss a proposed project or to obtain application resources, please contact one of the following Business Program Specialists:

* Marla Marx, marla.marx@ne.usda.gov or 308-632-2195 extension 1132 – panhandle including northwest and southwest counties.

* Kelley Messenger, kelley.messenger@ne.usda.gov  or 308-237-3118 extension 1120 – north and south central counties.

* Bill Sheppard, bill.sheppard@ne.usda.gov  or 402-371-5350 extension 1004 – northeast and southeast counties.

For more information about USDA loans and grants, call the Nebraska Rural Development Office at (402) 437-5551 or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.