Business Development Programs

The success of any long range community development plan must include jobs. For this reason, USDA Rural Development provides an array of programs and services which focus on the creation of jobs in rural areas. Click here for more information on our energy programs.


  • Business & Industry Loan Guarantees (B&I)

  • The B&I program provides loan guarantees for expansion and preservation of jobs in rural areas. The program can provide development credit in rural areas and towns of 50,000 or less. Jobs produced in this manner will help people stay in their own communities and raise their standard of living in the rural environment. The program provides guarantees to commercial lenders who make credit available to establish or maintain businesses. Loan funds may be used to purchase land, buildings and equipment; working capital; and in some cases to refinance debt. Eligible entities include corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, individuals, federally recognized Indian Tribes and other legal entities.

  • Intermediary Relending Program (IRP)

  • The purpose of the Intermediary Relending Program is to finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas. This is achieved through low interest loans made by Rural Development to intermediaries. The intermediaries relend the funds to ultimate recipients for business purposes or community development projects. Intermediaries establish revolving loan funds, so that collections from loans to ultimate recipients, in excess of necessary operating expenses and debt payments, will be used for more loans to ultimate recipients. Intermediaries may be private nonprofit corporations, public agencies, Indian groups or cooperatives. Any type legal entity, including individuals and public and private organizations, may be an ultimate recipient.

  • Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG)

  • These grants provide resources which are utilized to develop small and emerging business enterprises in rural areas or cities up to 50,000 population. Qualifying entities include public bodies and nonprofit corporations. Grants are used by third party lenders to create revolving business loan funds. Funds can also be used to install infrastructure to business locations and house business incubators.

  • Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

    This program provides grants to agriculutural producers and small rural businesses for planning activities and working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products.

  • Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG)

  • This grant program can fund businesses that use local rural materials or human resources. Funding can also establish business support centers and assist in the creation of new rural businesses. Technical asssitance training can be provided to existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers, including leadership and development training. Community and multi-county economic development planning, training centers, and interactive communications technologies to develop international trade opportunities and markets can also be funded.

  • Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG)

    Rural Cooperative Development grants are made for establishing and operating centers for cooperative development for the primary purpose of improving the economic condition of rural areas through the development of new cooperatives and improving operations of existing cooperatives. The U.S. Department of Agriculture desires to encourage and stimulate the development of effective cooperative organizations in rural America as a part of its total package of rural development efforts.

  • Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG)

    This program is utilized to finance rural economic development and rural job creation projects which are based on sound economic and financial analysis. This is done by making zero-interest loans and/or grants to Rural Development electric and telephone borrowers who use the funds to provide financing for business and community development projects. Eligible project costs include project feasibility studies, start-up costs, purchasing facilities and equipment, business incubator projects and other reasonable expenses for the purpose of fostering rural economic development.

  • Fact Sheets

  • B&I Loan Guarantee Fact Sheet
  • IRP Fact Sheet
  • RBEG Fact Sheet
  • RBOG Fact Sheet
  • VAPG Fact Sheet
  • REAP Fact Sheet
  • REDLG Fact Sheet
  • BCP Fact Sheet

  • Link to Small Business Administration Loan Information