The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks applications for its Rural Business Development Grant program that supports non-profits and municipalities aiming to create jobs and bolster businesses in rural communities. Last year, the USDA awarded $174,000 in business development grants to New Hampshire organizations to pursue economic development projects.
“Across the New Hampshire, local non-profits and municipalities are undertaking innovative approaches to community and economic development,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Ted Brady. “USDA Rural Development is eager to partner with these organizations to bolster our local food economy, grow the bioeconomy, and create jobs.”
Brady noted that the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program allows USDA Rural Development to directly invest in community development efforts. The program offers grants that average $30,000 to eligible applicants including non-profits and municipalities. The Agency is currently accepting applications with a letter of intent due by Friday, Dec. 16 and a full application due by Wednesday, Feb. 15. Information on the RBDG program, including the notice of solicitation of applications, the application materials and a full list of last year’s funded projects, can be found on the USDA Rural Development website (www.rd.usda.gov/nh) or by contacting Heather Gronlund, Business Program Specialist, at (603) 223-6041 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year’s New Hampshire recipients include:
Merrimack County Conservation District -$24,000 grant to provide technical assistance to local food producers, farms and small businesses.
North Country Council - $40,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study and planning for a comprehensive trails plan and to enhance ATV safety in Coos County.
Northern Community Investment Corporation - $30,000 grant to provide technical assistance to small and emerging businesses.
TwinState MakerSpace, Inc - $30,000 grant to hire a workforce development director to work with local businesses to design custom training programs to fit local economic needs and fill jobs.
White Mountain Regional School District - $20,000 grant to hire a college/ career pathways coordinator to collaborate with the area’s small businesses to create internships for students that will, in turn, create jobs.
Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network- $30,000 grant to provide training to local food producers, farmers and small business owners.
USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of $214 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the New Hampshire Rural Development website (www.rd.usda.gov/nh) or contact USDA RD at (603) 223-6035.