Business and Cooperative Programs

Business Programs works in partnership with the private sector and the community-based organizations to provide financial assistance and business planning. Recipients may include individuals, corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, public bodies, nonprofit corporations, Indian tribes, and private companies. Visit the following site for a complete overview: Business Programs.

Cooperatives are a cornerstone of business development in rural communities, and can provide residents with new job opportunities, enhanced educational and health care services, and products which enable them to compete in todays global marketplace. Cooperative Programs provide assistance for rural residents interested in forming new cooperatives and administers programs that fund value-added producer grants, rural cooperative development centers, and small socially-disadvantaged producers. Visit the following site for a complete overview: Cooperative Programs


Program Fact Sheets and Information

All Business Programs Information

Guaranteed Business and Industry Programs - Loans made by conventional lenders and guaranteed by USDA Rural Development to improve, develop or finance business, industry and employment. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) - Loans, grants, and guarantees to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. REAP Application Materials [Maine Fact Sheet]

Value-added Agricultural Producer Grants
- Grants made to assist independent agricultural producers enter to value-added activities. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Rural Business Enterprise Grants - Grants made to facilitate the development of small emerging businesses in rural areas. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Rural Business Opportunity Grants - Grants made to promote sustainable economic development in rural areas with exceptional needs. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program
- Loans and Grants are made for the purpose of promoting rural economic development and job creation projects. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
- Loans and Grants are made to Microenterprise Development Organizations in support of rural microentrepreneurs needing small loans and technical assistance. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Intermediary Relending Program
- Loans are made by Rural Development to intermediaries that relend the funds to recipients for business facilities or community development. [Maine Fact Sheet]

Cooperative Assistance Program - The cooperative assistance program provides assistance to help recipients form new cooperatives and improve the operations of existing cooperatives.

USDA Rural Development and Small Business Administration MOU