The Rural Business Development Grants (which include Enterprise Grants and Opportunity Grants) are provided for rural projects that (a) finance and facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses; (b) help fund distance learning networks; (c) help fund employment-related adult education programs; (d) assist with business development; and (e) finance many different types of activities.
An applicant must be a town, community, state agency, authority, nonprofit corporation, institution of higher education, rural cooperative (if a private nonprofit corporation), or federally-recognized Tribe (the “Grant Applicant”).
A successful Grant Applicant may use the proceeds of its:
- Enterprise Grant for (a) training and technical assistance (such as project planning, business counseling/training, market research, feasibility studies, professional/technical reports, or product/service improvements); (b) acquisition or development of land, easements, or rights of way; construction, conversion, renovation of buildings; plants, machinery, equipment, access for streets and roads; parking areas and utilities; (c) pollution control and abatement; (d) capitalization of revolving loan funds (including funds that will make loans for start-ups and working capital); (e) distance adult learning for job training and advancement; (f) rural transportation improvement; (g) community economic development; (h) technology-based economic development; (i) feasibility studies and business plans; (j) leadership and entrepreneur training; (k) rural business incubators; and (l) long-term business strategic planning.
- Opportunity Grant for: (a) community economic development; (b) technology-based economic development; (c) feasibility studies and business plans; (d) leadership and entrepreneur training; (e) rural business incubators; and (f) long-term business strategic planning.