Program 101

Program Status: Open
Application Deadline: Contact Local Area or State office

What does this program do?

This program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

Who may apply for this program?

Rural public entities including, but not limited to:

  • Towns
  • Communities
  • State agencies
  • Authorities
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
  • Rural cooperatives (If organized as a private nonprofit corporation)

What is an eligible area?

RBDG funds must be used for projects benefitting rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more. Check eligible areas.

How much funding is available?

There is no maximum grant amount; however, smaller requests are given higher priority. Generally, grants range from $10,000 to $500,000. There is no cost sharing requirement. Opportunity grants are limited to up to 10 percent of the total RBDG annual funding.

How may funds be used?

Enterprise grants must be used on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas as specified in the grant application. Uses may include:

  • Training and technical assistance, such as project planning, business counseling/training, market research, feasibility studies, professional/technical reports, or product/service improvements
  • Acquisition or development of land, easements, or rights of way; construction, conversion, renovation of buildings; plants, machinery, equipment, access for streets and roads; parking areas and utilities
  • Pollution control and abatement
  • Capitalization of revolving loan funds, including funds that will make loans for start-ups and working capital
  • Distance adult learning for job training and advancement
  • Rural transportation improvement
  • Community economic development
  • Technology-based economic development
  • Feasibility studies and business plans
  • Leadership and entrepreneur training
  • Rural business incubators
  • Long-term business strategic planning

Opportunity grants can be used for:

  • Community economic development
  • Technology-based economic development
  • Feasibility studies and business plans
  • Leadership and entrepreneur training
  • Rural business incubators
  • Long-term business strategic planning

How are applications evaluated?

All applications are evaluated based on:

  • Evidence showing job creation at local businesses;
  • Percent of non-federal funding committed to the project;
  • Economic need in the area to be served;
  • Consistency with local economic development priorities;
  • Experience of the grantee with similar efforts; and

Other factors described in the current Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA), if one is published.

How do we get started?

  • Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or State offices once per year. Applicants are advised to view program information specific to your local or State office to learn about local application timelines, concept paper requirements, etc.
  • Grant awardees will need to complete required paperwork and comply with the terms and conditions of the award.  Contact your local or State office for details.

 Who can answer questions?

 What governs this program?

  • Basic Program – 7 CFR Part 4280, Subpart E.  This program is authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (ConAct)

What governed the predecessor programs of Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG), as well as all awards given before FY 2015?

  • RBEG Basic Program - RD Instruction 1942-G
  • RBOG Basic Program - 7 CFR Part 4284
  • This program was authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (ConAct)

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

This program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment-related adult education programs. To assist with business development, RBDGs may fund a broad array of activities.

Printable Fact Sheet

Forms & Resources


Rural Business Newsletters

Spring 2019
Winter 2019

Subject to funding, the deadline for receipt of the application for Enterprise and Opportunity funds is 4:30 PM local time March 29, 2019.   The deadline for receipt of the application for Rural Transportation Systems will be established at a later time. The application date and time are firm.   You may hand deliver your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by 4:30 PM on the deadline date.  Late applications are not eligible for funding.  Acceptance by the United States Postal Service or private mailer does not constitute delivery.  Facsimile (FAX), electronic mail and postage due applications will not be accepted.


RBDG Fact Sheet

2019 RBDG Application Template

DUNS Request Step-by-Step Instructions

SAM Registration Template


•    SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance
•    SF-424A, Budget Information Non-Construction Programs
•    SF-424B, Assurances - Non-Construction Projects Only
•    SF-424C, Budget Information -Construction Programs
•    SF-424D, Assurances - Construction Projects Only
•    SF-LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
•    RD 400-1, Equal Opportunity Agreement
•    RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement
•    AD 1047, Certification Regarding Debarment
•    AD 1048, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion –
Lower Tier Covered Transactions

•    AD 1049, Certification Regarding Drug Free Workplace
•    AD-3030, Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquency Status for Corporate Applicants
•    RD Inst. 1940-Q, Exhibit A-1, Certification for Contracts, Grants, & Loans
•    Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants
•    RBDG Applicant-Grantee Certifications
•    SD - RBDG Applicant’s Guide to Providing Environmental Review Information
•    SD – RBDG Certification for Rural Development Assistance to an Employee, Relative or Associate

NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please refer to the application materials listed below to start the process of applying. Please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Business Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in the process.

Preliminary Actions Required

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.

Special Alert for SAM Registrants

Last year, we alerted our vendor community to third party companies offering to help you update information contained within the System for Award Management ( website, for a fee.  Your SAM registration contains sensitive business information, including your banking information and other sensitive information, so your login and password should not be shared with anyone outside your company.  As a reminder, the use of the System for Award Management website is free to use and update, and the Commodity Procurement Staff does not see a reason to pay anyone to provide that service. 

Secondly, we have just become aware of a couple of scam emails that offer to “help companies start the renewal process online” or suggest that “Your Federal Profile is Almost Complete. Immediate Action Required!”  In both cases, your free access to will resolve any questions you may have regarding your registration in  As you know requires an annual recertification and sends out email reminders prior to the expiration, and again, updates should be handled by company employees.  Furthermore, if your registration is not complete, you may login to to make that determination for yourself. 

Please remember that is not affiliated with the USDA and is a government-wide website not maintained by our Agency.  If you have any questions regarding access or how to use SAM, please contact their help desk at 866-606-8220, option #1.


South Dakota Rural Business-Cooperative Programs Contact Map


Dana Kleinsasser, Rural Business & Cooperative Programs Director
200 4th Street SW, Federal Bldg. Rm. 210
Huron, SD  57350
Phone: (605) 352-1157
Fax: (855) 262-1940

Clark Guthmiller, Specialist
1717 N. Lincoln Avenue, Suite 102
Pierre, SD  57501
Serves Campbell, Corson, Dewey,
Haakon, Hughes, Jones, Mellette, Potter,
Stanley, Sully, Todd, Walworth, and
Phone: (605) 301-3409
Fax: (855) 262-1942

Gary Wedel, Specialist
1820 North Kimball, Suite C
Serves Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Charles
Mix, Davison, Douglas, Faulk, Gregory,
Hand, Hanson, Hyde, Jerauld, Lake,
Lyman, McCook, Miner, Sanborn, Spink,
and Tripp
Phone: (605) 299-3339
Fax: (855) 262-1941

Clark Guthmiller (605) 301-3409 or Lance Lockwood (605) 858-6681, Specialists
414 East Stumer Road, Suite 200
Rapid City, SD  57701
Serves Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River,
Harding, Jackson, Lawrence, Meade,
Oglala Lakota, Perkins, and Pennington
Phone: (605) 858-6683
Fax: (855) 262-1943

Jolene Pravecek, Specialist
2914 Broadway
Yankton, SD  57078
Serves Bon Homme, Clay, Hutchinson,
Lincoln, Minnehaha, Moody, Turner, Union,
and Yankton
Phone: (605) 655-3516
Fax: (855) 262-1938

Cayla Holleman, Specialist
200 4th Street SW, Federal Bldg. Rm. 210
Huron, SD  57350
Serves Beadle, Brookings, Clark, Deuel, and Kingsbury
Phone: (605) 299-3357
Fax: (855) 262-1941

Clark Guthmiller (605) 301-3409 or Roxanne Woodring (605) 824-3623, Specialist
524 Enterprise Street South, Suite 100
Aberdeen, SD  57401
Serves Brown, Codington, Day, Edmunds,
Grant, Hamlin, Marshall, McPherson, and
Phone: (605) 824-3627
Fax: (855) 262-1939

Carolyn Bloodgood, Technician
200 4th Street SW, Federal Bldg. Rm. 210
Huron, SD  57350
Phone: (605) 352-1144
Fax: (855) 262-1940

Teresa Urban, Loan Technician
200 4th Street SW, Federal Bldg. Rm. 210
Huron, SD  57350
Phone: (605) 352-1141
Fax: (855) 262-1940