Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food – Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) | USDA
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Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)

Type: Grants

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.

Get more information: For more program information, please visit the Rural Business Development Grants page, and to apply for any USDA Rural Development program contact your state or local office.