USDA Rural Development offers grants to support rural business enterprises

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Farm Forum

Huron – 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 less than 50,000. Applications submitted are selected based on a competitive scoring process. Applicants wishing to be considered for Native American funds should be submitted by February 15, 2013. All other applications should be submitted by April 1, 2013 in order to be considered for 2013 funding.

Priority will be given to application requests of less than $100,000. 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 2012, Rural Development awarded 3 grants totaling $261,000 with the South Dakota state allocated funds. Additionally, 3 grants totaling $498,900 were funded from National Office Native American earmarked funds. While the Fiscal Year 2013 funding level is not yet known, USDA Rural Development South Dakota expects its allocation to be around $160,000, with additional funds available for Native American projects.

For more information on the RBEG program visit http://1.usa.gov/vgvAJP.

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:

· Clark Guthmiller, clark.guthmiller@sd.usda.gov or 605-224-8870 extension 4 – serving Butte, Campbell, Corson, Dewey, Haakon, Harding, Hughes, Jones, Lawrence, Meade, Mellette, Perkins, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Todd, Walworth, and Ziebach Counties.

· Darlene Bresson, darlene.bresson@sd.usda.gov or 605-886-8202 extension 4 – serving Brookings, Brown, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Edmunds, Grant, Hamlin, Kingsbury, Marshall, McPherson, and Roberts Counties.

· Dave Franssens, dave.franssens@sd.usda.gov or 605-330-4515 extension 4 – serving Clay, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Turner, Union and Yankton Counties.

· Gary Wedel, gary.wedel@sd.usda.gov or 605-996-1564 extension 4 – serving Aurora, Beadle, Brule, Charles mix, Davison, Douglas, Faulk, Gregory, Hand, Hanson, Hyde, Jerauld, Lyman, Sanborn, Spink, and Tripp Counties.

· Pamela Smith, pamela.smith@sd.usda.gov or 605-342-0301 extension 4 – serving Bennett, Custer, Fall River, Jackson, Pennington, and Shannon Counties.