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Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG)

Providing grants to nonprofits and public bodies for community planning, technical assistance, and training for rural businesses

Program Basics
The purpose of the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. This is accomplished by making grants to pay costs of providing economic planning for rural communities, technical assistance for rural businesses, or training for rural entrepreneurs or economic development officials.

Application and Financial Information
Projects eligible for RBOG funding are ranked from the highest to the lowest scoring according to the sustainability and quality of the economic activity expected; the amount of leveraging of other funds; economic conditions in the service area, and the project's usefulness as a new best practice.

Applications are funded up to the maximum amount available in any given funding cycle. The statutory limit for fiscal year 2008 was $2.6 million. The size of grants approved is limited by the amount of program funds available. Most FY 2008 grants were $50,000 or less.

Applications are filed with the Rural Development State Office in the state where the grant purposes will be carried out. First, obtain a copy of the program regulation (4284-G) and refer to the application section. A complete application must be filed before it will be scored. An application can be obtained at: www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/rbog.htm.

Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions
To be eligible for a Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG), an applicant must be a public body, nonprofit corporation, Indian Tribe or cooperative with members that are primarily rural residents.

Applicants must also have significant expertise in the activities proposed and financial strength to ensure the objectives of the proposed grant can be accomplished.

Applicants must also be able to show that the funding will result in economic development of a rural area (which is defined as any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town). Projects must include a basis for determining the success or failure of the project and assessing its impact.

Grant funds may not be used for:

Website
www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/rbog.htm

Contact
Check your telephone directory under "Federal Government" or visit the Rural Development Field Office website (www.rurdev.usda.gov) to obtain addresses and telephone numbers of state offices. For further information on this program, please call the state office servicing your state.

Cindy Mason
National Program Office
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Phone: (202) 690-1433

Last Updated January 26, 2010

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