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USDA Seeks Applications to Spur Rural Job Growth and Economic Development

Kate Bolz
Release Date

LINCOLN, NE, October 5, 2023 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Kate Bolz today announced that the Department is accepting applications for funding to help create jobs and promote economic growth in rural communities.

USDA is making loans and grants available under the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG), the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), and the Intermediary Relending Program for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

“USDA Rural Development stands ready to deploy our grant and loan programs to help your small business succeed and your main street thrive,” explained Bolz.

Through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, USDA provides grants to local utility organizations, which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds to finance community facilities. Specifically, applicants may use funds to support business startup, business expansion and business incubators; technical assistance and feasibility studies; essential community facilities; and advanced telecommunications services and computer networks for medical, educational and job training opportunities. Additional information is available on page 63057 of the Sept. 14, 2023, Federal Register.

Through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, USDA provides funding to non-profits, Tribes, colleges, and universities to create revolving loan fund programs and support training and technical assistance for rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Rural businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees are eligible for loans and technical assistance. Additional information is available on page 63054 of the Sept. 14, 2023, Federal Register.

Through the Intermediary Relending Program, USDA provides low-interest loans to local lenders known as intermediaries, who then relend the funds to businesses to improve economic conditions and create new opportunities in rural communities. Eligible intermediary lenders include nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, federally recognized Tribes and public agencies. For additional information, see page 63050 of the Sept. 14, 2023, Federal Register.

Applications for any program must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development State Office where the project is located no later than 4:30 p.m. local time on the following dates:

  • Second Quarter: Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Third Quarter: Mar. 31, 2024.
  • Fourth Quarter: Jun. 30, 2024.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to ask questions about their project, the programs, or the application process.

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