Lincoln, Nebraska, Jun 13, 2011 -- USDA Rural Development in Nebraska is accepting applications for grants to help rural businesses create jobs through cooperative development centers.
“Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDGs) help rural cooperatives expand economic activity in their communities,” said Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, USDA Rural Development. “Cooperative development centers are important to rural Nebraska as they assist in building and sustaining rural businesses that help to keep rural communities’ jobs at home as well as to create new jobs.”
For example, the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center (NCDC) has assisted more than 60 producer groups by providing technical and organizational assistance since 1999. NCDC also performs a number of activities and initiatives to increase public awareness of the cooperative business model in Nebraska. Building the educational capacity and NCDC’s ability to “reach out” has been the objective of the Center’s educational program. Nebraska Cooperative Development Center is an outreach program that provides technical assistance to groups who are developing or are considering the development of cooperatively owned business. The Center is a program in the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of Nebraska.
Under the RCDG program, grants of up to $225,000 may be awarded to colleges, universities and non-profit groups to create and operate centers that help individuals or groups establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives. Grants may be used to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services.
Through this notice, USDA may award up to $7.4 million in grants. Funds may finance up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating the cooperative centers. Recipients must match 25 percent of the total project cost. Applications are due July 22, 2011. For more information, see page 32943 of the June 7 Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-07/pdf/2011-13927.pdf.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
For additional information visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/rural_cooperative_development_grant_program.htm
To contact the Nebraska USDA Rural Development office nearest you go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/Contact_Us.htm.