USDA Rural Development Announces Grant Funds Are Now Available for Maine Community Economic Development Projects

Contact: Emily Cannon
(207) 990-9175

USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins today announced that the agency is now accepting applications for business development projects in Maine’s rural communities through the agency’s Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program.

“This valuable grant program can help eligible organizations provide training, strategic business planning, and empower small and emerging rural Maine businesses,” Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins said. “By investing in economic development activities USDA Rural Development is helping to create jobs and strengthen rural communities.”

Eligible applicants are Public Bodies/Government Entities, Native American Tribes, or Nonprofit Entities. These can include, but are not limited to: Towns, Communities, Institutions of Higher Education, and State Agencies. RBDG funds must be directed for various business opportunity and business enterprise projects benefitting rural areas or towns. All of Maine is considered a rural area for this program, with the exception of Portland and certain parts of Falmouth, Westbrook, Scarborough, South Portland, and Cape Elizabeth.

Project types can include, but are not limited to: acquisition and development of land, equipment purchase, technical assistance and training, strategic planning, community economic development, and revolving loan fund capitalization. The grant award process is competitive, with grants generally ranging from $10,000 up to $500,000.

Applications for RBDG Native-American set-aside funding are due to the USDA Rural Development Maine State Office by 4:30 p.m., Monday, April 17, 2017. All other applications for the RBDG program are due at the State Office by 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 15, 2017.

One original, hard-copy application must be delivered to:

Brian Wilson, P.E.
Business and Cooperative Programs Director
Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture
967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 4
Bangor, ME 04401-2767

For questions or more information on how to apply, please contact Brian Wilson at 990-9168 or

USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at

Last Modified: 02/09/2017