Grants, Loans, Webinars, Education Development

USDA Rural Development Funding

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, health care, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. Application Deadlines: 12/31/2023; 3/31/2024; and 6/30/2024, to the USDA Rural Development State Office

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development Loan guarantees to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. Application Deadline: Open

Intermediary Relending Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development provides low-interest loans to local lenders known as intermediaries, who then relend the funds to businesses to improve economic conditions and create new opportunities in rural communities. Application Deadlines: 12/31/2023; 3/31/2024; and 6/30/2024, to the USDA Rural Development State Office

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. Application Deadlines: 12/31/2023; 3/31/2024; and 6/30/2024, to the USDA Rural Development State Office

Rural Business Investment Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development provides a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) license to newly formed developmental capital organizations to fill the need for business and development capital in rural areas. The program works with for-profit developmental capital funds. Application Deadline: Open

Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program: Helps establish and operate cooperative development centers. Cooperative development centers provide technical assistance, conduct feasibility studies, develop business plans, provide training, and facilitate strategic planning.

Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants: Provides financial support to co-ops and their associations or development centers for technical assistance to small, socially disadvantaged groups. Funds can be used for feasibility studies, business plans, strategic planning, and leadership training.

Broadband Technical Assistance Grants: Supports project planning, community engagement, financial sustainability, environmental compliance, construction planning and engineering, accessing federal resources, and data collection and reporting for broadband projects.

Community Connect Grants: Provides broadband service in rural, economically challenged communities where internet service does not yet exist. Funds can also cover costs to provide broadband service to critical community facilities for 2 years.

ReConnect Loans and Grants: Expands broadband service to rural areas without sufficient broadband access. Funds can be used to construct, improve, acquire broadband and terrestrial satellite broadband facilities and equipment, and for preapplication expenses.

Rural Broadband Loans, Loan and Grant Combinations, and Loan Guarantees: Provides funds for the construction, improvement, or purchase of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas

Fertilizer Production Expansion Program: Increases or expands the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer, nutrient alternatives, and other nutrient management products and technologies in the United States and its territories.

Value-Added Producer Grants: Program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT

USDA Seeks Applications to Rural Business Development Grant Program

WASHINGTONDec. 5, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced today that it is accepting applications to advance economic development and create jobs for people in rural America.

USDA is making this funding available under the Rural Business Development Grant program to support business opportunities or business enterprise projects in rural communities. Organizations eligible to receive funding include rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, federally recognized Tribes, public colleges and non-profit cooperatives.

Projects must be consistent with local community and economic development strategic plans. They must also support other economic development activities in the surrounding community.

Funds may be used to establish business support centers or to finance job training and leadership development in rural areas. They may also be used to repair or modernize buildings; finance feasibility studies or business plans; or purchase equipment to lease to small or emerging businesses.

In fiscal year 2024, USDA anticipates that part of the funding may be set aside for:

  • Federally recognized Tribes.
  • Rural Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities/Rural Economic Area Partnerships.
  • Projects located in persistent poverty areas.
  • Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) projects.

Eligible applicants for the persistent poverty and SECD set-aside funds must demonstrate that 100% of the benefits of an approved grant will assist beneficiaries in the designated areas.

The Department expects to invite applications in winter 2024 for set-aside funding to enhance the operation of rural transportation systems.

USDA is particularly interested in applications that will advance Biden-Harris Administration priorities to:

  • Reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.
  • Ensure all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD-funded projects; and
  • Help rural communities recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure.

Applications must be submitted to the nearest USDA Rural Development state office where the project is located by 4:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 28, 2024. For more information, visit Grants.gov or see page 84123 of the Dec. 4, 2023, Federal Register.

To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit GovDelivery subscriber page.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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