USDA Seeks Applications to Support Rural Businesses and Create Jobs

Sarah Marquart
Release Date
Apr 01, 2015

USDA Rural Development California State Director Glenda Humiston today announced USDA is seeking applications for grants to support rural businesses and help create jobs.

"These grants will help support rural businesses all across California," said Humiston.  "Small businesses are the backbone of our rural economies, and with these funds we are continuing our investment to help rural communities grow and thrive."

Nationally, more than $28 million is expected to be available under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. Eligible applicants include public bodies, government entities, Indian tribes and non-profit organizations with a demonstrated successful history of administering economic development and technical assistance programs. Individuals and for-profit businesses are not eligible to apply.

RBDG was established under the 2014 Farm Bill and combines USDA’s former Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) programs. The new program, like its predecessors, is designed to assist in the development of small and emerging private businesses and/or non-profits in rural communities.

Grants can be used for technical assistance, job training and other activities. Grants will be awarded competitively at the state level with a Native American set aside that is funded through a national competition.  There are no substantive programmatic or operational changes to the RBEG and RBOG programs as a result of this consolidation. The interim regulations can be found in the March 25 Federal Register.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact a local Rural Development office for more details about the program and how to apply.  Applications for Native American set aside funds must be received by the local Rural Development office by 4:00 pm PDT on May 4, 2015 and all others are due by 4:00 pm PDT on June 19, 2015.

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.