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Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)

The RBDG program provides grants for rural projects designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

How much are the grants?

There is no maximum level of grant funding. However, smaller projects are given higher priority. Generally grants range from $10,000 up to $99,000.

Who is eligible?

Rural public entities (towns, communities, State agencies, and authorities), Indian tribes and rural private non-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding. At least 51 percent of the outstanding interest in any project must have membership or be owned by U.S. citizens or resident aliens.

Define Rural

Rural is defined as any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town according to the latest decennial census. At least 51 percent of the outstanding interest in any project must have membership or be owned by U.S. citizens or resident aliens.

What types of projects are eligible?

The RBDG program is a broad based program that reaches to the core of rural development in a number of ways. Examples of eligible fund use include: Acquisition or development of land, easements, or rights of way; construction, conversion, renovation, of buildings, plants, machinery, equipment, access streets and roads, parking areas, utilities; pollution control and abatement; capitalization of revolving loan funds including funds that will make loans for start-ups and working capital; training and technical assistance; distance adult learning for job training and advancement; rural transportation improvement; and project planning. Any project funded under the RBEG program should benefit small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. Small and emerging private businesses are those that will employ 50 or fewer new employees and have less than $1 million in projected gross revenues.