USDA Seeks Applications to Support Businesses in Rural Kentucky Communities

Katherine Belcher
Release Date
May 05, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for grants to support rural businesses and help create jobs.

More than $28 million is expected to be available under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, including $584,000 for Kentucky. Eligible applicants include public bodies, government entities and non-profit organizations. The Kentucky State Office for Rural Development is accepting applications for projects up to $50,000 through May 29, 2015.

“USDA funding through the RBDG program will ensure continued investments in rural businesses and the communities they serve,” said Tom Fern, Kentucky State Director for Rural Development. “Rural businesses often lack access to the capital and resources they need to grow. This new program assists the startup or expansion of small and emerging private businesses and/or non-profits in rural communities.”

Congress established the RBDG program under the 2014 Farm Bill by combining USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) programs.

RBDG grants can be used to acquire or develop land, buildings, plants and equipment; build or improve access roads, parking areas, utility extensions, and water and waste disposal facilities; provide technical assistance; establish revolving loan funds; and to support rural distance learning programs that provide educational or job training. There are no substantive programmatic or operational changes to the RBEG and RBOG programs as a result of this consolidation.

Grants made before the implementation of the RBDG program will continue to be governed by the terms of the applicable RBOG and RBEG regulations in effect at the time the grants were made.

For additional information on how to apply, contact your Rural Development state office at 859-224-7435 or see Page 15665 of the March 25, 2015, Federal Register.

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.