Washington, D.C., Feb 02, 2011 -- Terry Brunner, State Director for USDA Rural Development in New Mexico, announced applications are being accepted for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.
The RBEG program is available to public bodies, nonprofits, and Indian tribes to facilitate and finance the development of small and emerging private business enterprises in rural areas. "Rural" is applicable to those communities up to 50,000 in population.
In making the announcement Brunner said, “The RBEG program helps finance new and existing businesses by ensuring the community can make investments in activities that will ultimately create jobs and increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for those living in their area.”
Grant funds may be used to finance and facilitate the development of small, private, business enterprises which includes any private business which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in projected gross revenues. Grant funds can also be used by making a loan to the business as a revolving loan fund. The RBEG funds can also be used to pay for technical assistance, or purchasing real or personal property to be leased to the business. Technical assistance could provide money for such things as feasibility studies, business plans, business development training, or workshops.
Applications are selected for funding based on an established competitive scoring process. Priority will be given to application requests in the amount of $50,000 or less. Additionally, eligible initial applications will receive discretionary points for projects that support the agency and department goals in the following categories:
• Renewable energy
• Local food systems and value-added agriculture
• Great regions: multi-county or multi-state projects that will establish best practices in the area of regional economic and community development
• Support of cooperatives
• Business programs in persistent poverty counties including: Catron, Cibola, Dona Ana, Guadalupe, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel, Socorro, and Taos.
• Underserved populations such as minority and women-owned businesses
Last fiscal year, USDA Rural Development provided $386,999 to assist 4 New Mexico recipients develop business opportunities.
USDA Rural Development is currently accepting applications until close of business, Friday, April 1, 2010, for the Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) program.
More information on the RBEG program can be obtained from the Rural Development State Office in Albuquerque at 505-761-4953 or at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at any local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov