Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)

Link

https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants

Deadline

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

Sponsoring Organization

USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)

Purpose

Provides funding to help rural communities develop their economies and grow local businesses. Offers technical assistance and training to small, rural businesses with fewer than 50 new employees and less than $1,000,000 in gross revenue. Funding is available in two forms, enterprise grants and opportunity grants.

Enterprise grants may be used to benefit small and emerging rural businesses in rural areas as specified in the grant application. Examples of enterprise type grants include:

  • Training and technical assistance, such as project planning, business counseling and training, market research, feasibility studies, professional or technical reports, or producer service improvements
  • Acquiring or developing land, easements, or rights of way
  • Building, converting, and renovating buildings
  • Expenses related to plants, machinery, equipment, and street and road access
  • Parking areas and utilities
  • Pollution control and abatement
  • The capitalization of revolving loan funds, including those for start-ups and working capital
  • Distance adult learning for employment training and career advancement
  • Improving transportation services in rural areas
  • Business plans
  • Leadership and entrepreneur training
  • Rural business incubators
  • Long-term strategic planning for businesses

Opportunity grants may be used for projects in rural areas. Examples of opportunity type grants include:

  • Community economic development
  • Technology-based economic development
  • Feasibility studies and business plans
  • Leadership and entrepreneur training
  • Rural business incubators
  • Long-term strategic planning for businesses

RBDG funds must be used to benefit rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more. Use the USDA Rural Business Services Property Eligibility search tool to determine if an address is located in an eligible area.

Amount of Funding

There is no maximum grant amount and smaller requests for funds are given higher priority. Grants generally range from $10,000 up to $500,000. Funding available for opportunity grants is limited to a maximum of 10% of the total RBDG annual funding.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants are rural public entities including, but not limited to:

  • Towns
  • Communities
  • State agencies
  • Authorities
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • Rural cooperatives, if organized as a private nonprofit corporation

Geographic Coverage

Nationwide

What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment

Application Process

Applicants can view state-specific application deadlines and program contact information by selecting the appropriate state from the drop-down menu on the program website.

Application deadlines vary by state and are announced each year. Applications can be submitted through the USDA Rural Development local or state offices.

Application requirements, instructions, and other relevant information can be found in the Federal Register.

Contact

For program questions:
Contact the appropriate USDA Rural Development state office.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Employment • Infrastructure • Teleservices and Technology • Transportation