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RBC I USDA Rural Development State Director Trudy Kareus announced Friday that the agency is now accepting applications for the Rural Business Development Grant Program (RBDG). This program is a combination of two former programs—the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG)—and supports activities leading to the development or expansion of businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues.
Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 29 or delivered to a Rural Development office by 4 p.m. on that date to be considered.
“Only complete applications will be considered for funding.,” Kareus said. “It’s important that applicants make every effort to submit their applications well before the deadline so that they can be reviewed for completeness. That will give them time to make changes prior to the deadline, if needed.”
Eligible applicants include towns, communities, state agencies, non-profit corporations, federally recognized tribes and institutions of higher learning.
Grant funds may be used for targeted technical assistance, training and other activities to support the development of small, private business enterprises in rural areas.
“This program has a wonderful multiplier effect,” Kareus said. “For example, one awardee in Colorado used the funding to provide training and education seminars to help small, rural businesses market themselves using social media. And an ag business used the program to develop a detailed expansion plan to accommodate their rapid growth.
“The opportunities are really endless when it comes to supporting and developing small, rural businesses across Colorado,” he said.
Contact P.J. Howe, Rural Development Specialist, at 970-824-3476, Ext. 111, or email p.j.howe@ co.usda.gov to receive a copy of the Fiscal Year 2016 application package. For additional information about this program, visit www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants.