Deadline for development dollars

Published on Thu, Mar 29, 2001
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Deadline for development dollars

The deadline for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Opportunity Grants is fast approaching. Applicants have until March 12 to try for a slice of the $55,000 available for grants in Washington this year.

The program provides grants to eligible public bodies, non-profit corporations, federally-recognized indian tribes and primarily rural cooperatives in incorporated communities of 10,000 or fewer to provide technical assistance for business development and conduct planning for sustainable economic development in rural areas. “The whole emphasis of this program is to try and help with economic stability and economic diversification in rural areas,” assistant program director Tuana Jones said. “This is to help with strategic planning and economic development in rural areas to help attract and keep jobs in those areas.”

Eligible grants should be used to identify business opportunities in rural areas, identify, train and provide technical assistance to rural entrepreneurs, establish business support centers, conduct local or multi-county economic development planning or other programs to benefit rural businesses. Priority will be given to local governments seeking funding for regional planning purposes; grant funds may not be used to duplicate current services, acquire real estate or complete building construction.

Not more than $50,000 can be awarded to a single applicant. Additional funding is also available from the Rural Development National Office for high scoring projects, projects located in the rural Enterprise Communities, and for Native American tribes.

For more details regarding the program or to obtain an application, contact Clint Kaasa at 360-704-7762.