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USDA Rural Grants for Economic Growth, Business Development, and Sustainability

USDA is accepting applications for business and community development grants to help rural communities create wealth, attract more residents, and become economically self-sustaining.  The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program, which provides grants for technical assistance and planning activities to improve economic conditions in rural cities or towns of 50,000 people or fewer.  This economic development planning process provides a great opportunity to include drinking water supply and source water protection considerations.

Funding under the RBOG program can be used to pay for economic planning, technical assistance, and training for rural communities, entrepreneurs or economic development officials.  Under this round of funding, priority consideration will be given to applications that best demonstrate strong regional or multi-jurisdictional collaboration and leadership capacity, and those that represent varying demographics (including underserved and under-represented communities).  The total amount of funding available is $2.48 million.

Eligible applicants must be a public body, non-profit corporation, Indian Tribe or cooperative with members that are primarily rural residents. Applicants must also have significant expertise in the activities proposed and the financial strength to ensure the objectives of the proposed grant can be accomplished.

Applications are due June 28, 2010.  For more information, please contact Jay Fletcher of USDA at 202-690-0498 or visit the web site at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/rbog.htm.