Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)
Max award: Generally grants range for $10,000 to $500,000. Smaller projects receive priority points.
Big idea: The RBEG program funds projects that facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses, distance learning networks, and employment-related adult education programs.
Who can apply: Local and state governments and authorities, Indian tribes and non-profit organizations are eligible to reply. For the purposes of this program a "rural community" is an area where the population does not exceed 50,000, or is next to a city or town with more than 50,000 people.
Real examples: The Glynwood Center, located in the Hudson River Valley of New York, developed a mobile livestock unit to provide local ranchers access to slaughter and processing equipment and, ultimately, local markets. USDA awarded Glynwood a $99,800 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to weatherize the mobile unit, as well as to hire a coordinator to assist with logistics and marketing.
Possibilities: Regarding business development, RBEGs may fund a broad array of activities including:
- Acquisition or development of land;
- Construction, conversion, or renovation of buildings;
- Purchase of machinery and equipment, including refrigerators and processing equipment;
- Capitalization of revolving loan funds;
- Provision of training and technical assistance (unless related to agricultural production);
- Project planning.