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USDA Expands Eligibility for Tribes Under the Rural Business Development Grants Program

Mark McCann
Release Date

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development today announced that USDA is expanding eligibility for Tribes under the Rural Business Development Grants program. This program creates jobs, spurs economic growth, and supports enterprise projects in rural and Tribal communities.

On Jan. 16, 2024, new and expanded eligibility definitions will take effect under the program to enable more Tribal government-owned entities to qualify for funding.

For example, USDA is:

  • Expanding the “Small and Emerging Business” definition to include Tribal governments and Tribal-owned organizations,
  • Clarifying the definition for “Conflict of Interest” to explain how the agency defines the relationship between Tribal nations and their Tribal-owned entities.
  • Codifying the “Indian Tribe” and “Tribal” definitions to include Tribal governments and/or Federally Recognized Tribes.

For more information about this change, please contact Lad Barney, USDA Rural Development in Montana Business and Cooperative Services Program Director, at lad.barney@usda.gov.

Complete information regarding this change is listed on page 86566 of the Dec. 14, 2023, Federal Register. To access the Federal Register page, go to the link at 2023-27504.pdf (govinfo.gov).

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                                                                            USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.


USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural and Tribal communities in Montana, call (406) 585-2587 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.