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USDA Accepting Rural Business Enterprise Grant Applications

Tim O'Connell
Release Date
May 02, 2014

USDA Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific Chris Kanazawa announced applications are being accepted for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. RBEG funds may be used for technical assistance such as marketing studies, feasibility studies, business plans and training to small and emerging private business, or creating a revolving loan fund.

"The RBEG program is designed to promote sustainable economic development for businesses in underserved rural communities throughout Hawaii and the Western Pacific," said Kanazawa. "In addition, it is an excellent source of funding to enable public and non-profit organizations with the opportunity to leverage their resources to maximize the impact they make in the community."

Eligible applicants include public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and federally recognized Indian Tribal groups to support economic development in rural communities with a population less than 50,000 people. Approximately $157,000 is available to assist projects in Hawaii, American Samoa and the Western Pacific.

In 2013, USDA Rural Development provided a $57,887 RBEG to Hi'ilei Aloha, LLC to develop a mobile poi (taro) mill and kitchen to be used by four businesses. As a result, eight jobs are projected to be created.

USDA Rural Development must receive applications by close of business on July 1, 2014. For more information on the RBEG program or to request an application, contact the following:

Shirley Heatherly: shirley.heatherly@hi.usda.gov, (808) 541-2600 ext. 139: City and County of Honolulu, County of Kauai and American Samoa.

Lori Nekoba: lori.nekoba@hi.usda.gov, (808) 933-8312: Counties of Hawaii and Maui

Anthony Barcinas: anthony.barcinas@pb.usda.gov, (671) 300-8567: Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

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. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.