Lincoln, Neb., May 01, 2014 -- USDA Rural Development is seeking applications from qualified non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education to help rural cooperatives develop new markets for their products and services. Funding will be made available through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Cooperative Development Grants, according to Nebraska State Director, Maxine Moul. The maximum grant award is $200,000.
"One of USDA Rural Development’s missions is to provide assistance that will increase the economic conditions of rural communities," said Moul. "The funds will be used to help promote start up, expansion and operational improvements to cooperatives to grow and strengthen their businesses and promote job creation."
A previous grantee, the University of Nebraska’s Cooperative Development Center (NCDC), provides education, training, and technical assistance to cooperatively owned businesses that are structured as a Cooperative, an LLC, or other business structure. NCDC has worked with start-up and established "multi-owner" businesses throughout the state. Some of the projects include cooperatively owned grocery stores and retail businesses as well as local food producers and distributors.
Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education. Public bodies and individuals cannot apply for this program. The grant period is limited to one year. Cooperatives will be able to benefit from the grant through market research, trainings, legal advice and assistance, and business planning and feasibility studies development.
The application deadlines for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant are June 30, 2014 for paper applications and June 24, 2014 for electronic applications. For additional information on how to apply, see the April 30 Federal Register, page 24380, or visit our Rural Cooperative Development Grant information page.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, business and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for business, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
For further information on the program contact Joan Scheel at 402-437-5594 at the USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Office.
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