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Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG)


USDA Rural Development makes grants under the Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program to public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and Federally-recognized Indian Tribal groups to finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private business enterprises located in any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town. The public bodies, private nonprofit corporations and federally recognized Indian tribes receive the grant to assist a business. Grant funds do not go directly to the business.

Eligibility is limited to public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and Federally-recognized Indian Tribal groups. Public bodies include incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, townships, counties, States, authorities, districts, Indian Tribes on Federal and State reservations, and other Federally-recognized Indian Tribal groups in rural areas. The small and emerging businesses to be assisted must have less than 50 new employees and less than $1 million in gross annual revenues.

Funds are used for the financing or development of a small and emerging business. Eligible uses are: Technical Assistance (providing assistance for marketing studies, feasibility studies, business plans, training etc.) to small and emerging businesses; purchasing machinery and equipment to lease to a small and emerging business; creating a revolving loan fund (providing partial funding as a loan to a small and emerging business for the purchase of equipment, working capital, or real estate); or construct a building for a business incubator for small and emerging businesses.

Grants cannot be used for agricultural production; comprehensive area-wide planning; loans by grantees when the rates, terms, and charges for those loans are not reasonable or would be for purposes not eligible under RBEG regulations; development of a proposal that may result in the transfer of jobs or business activity from one area to another, development of a proposal which may result in an increase of goods, materials, commodities, services, or facilities in an area when there is not sufficient demand; programs operated by cable television systems; or to fund part of a project that is dependent on other funding (unless there is a firm commitment of the other funding to ensure completion of the project).

For more information about the program, please contact the  USDA Rural Development Area Office nearest you. 

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 Last modified: March 26, 2010