Lincoln, Nebraska, Jan 30, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. RBEG’s are available to public bodies, non-profit entities and Indian Tribes who desire to finance and facilitate the development of small and emerging private business enterprises in rural areas. Grants may be used for technical assistance, establishment of small business revolving loan funds and the acquisition of land, buildings, and infrastructure to enhance business development.
Grants focused on revolving loan funds, assistance to Native Americans, or multistate projects are encouraged. Grants are only eligible for projects that assist rural communities. Rural is defined as communities and cities with a population of 50,000 or less. Applications submitted for state funding are selected based on a competitive scoring process. Applications that wish to compete for the state allocated funds are due by close of business, March 30, 2012.
Priority will be given to application requests 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:
* Local food systems and value-added agriculture
* Renewable energy
* 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
* Underserved populations: minority and women-owned businesses
* Ecosystem market projects
* Access to capital markets
In Fiscal Year 2011, four grants totaling $284,000 were awarded in Nebraska from the state allocation. Additionally, six grants totaling $544,177 were funded from National Office reserve funds. While the Fiscal Year 2012 funding level is not yet known, USDA Rural Development in Nebraska expects its allocation to be between $200,000 and $300,000, with additional funds available for Native American projects nationally.
For more information regarding the RBEG program visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html
For more information on this program, to discuss a proposed project or to obtain an application template, please contact one of the following Business Program Specialists:
* Marla Marx, firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-632-2195 extension 1132 – panhandle including northwest and southwest counties
* Kelley Messenger, email@example.com or 308-237-3118 extension 1120 – north and south central counties
* Korey Young, firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-371-5350 extension 102 – northeast and southeast counties