PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Purpose is to develop projects that will result in a sustainable increase in economic productivity, job creation, and incomes in rural areas. Projects may include business start-ups and expansion, community development incubator projects, medical and training projects, and feasibility studies. Ineligible purposes are those which directly benefit the borrower, conflicts of interest and costs incurred prior to the application.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Applicants are current or pre-paid electric and RUS telephone borrowers. The project does not have to be within their service area. The majority of the beneficiaries must be in a rural area of under 2,500 in population.
FUND AVAILABILITY AND MAXIMUM AMOUNTS: Funding is either a zero-interest loan or a grant to the borrower, which in turn is relent as a zero-interest loan. The maximum amount available varies each year.
TERMS: For a zero-interest loan, the borrower will sign a promissory note with a term not to exceed 10 years. Principal may be deferred up to two years. All loans will be secured. The borrower must have a specific recipient at the time of application. All loans to this recipient will be at zero interest repayment by the recipient and will ordinarily equal the term of the loan to the borrower.
Grant funds must be matched 20% up-front by the borrower. These accounts will be used as zero interest (initially) revolving loans for: community development for public bodies and non-profits; business incubators owned by non-profits; facilities and equipment for education, training or medical care of rural residents. Funds from other sources must at least equal 20% of the loan or grant amount.
CONTACT: This program is administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 20250. However applications are made at the Rural Development State Office.
For assistance, please contact David Thigpen, Business Programs Specialist in the State Office at 919-873-2065 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send any comments or suggestions to:
Revised on: May 2009