United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development
03/29/19 4:30 PM Receipt
Grants to Vermont nonprofits, state agencies, municipalities, and development corporations for activities that develop or expand small private businesses in eligible rural areas. Funding may be used for training, technical assistance, and other projects. LOIs must be submitted before applying. RBDG funds must be used for projects benefitting rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more.
This program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.
The RBDG program funds two types of eligible projects:
Rural Business Enterprise Activities:
Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) funds may be used for the acquisition and development of land, easements and rights-of-way; construction or repairs of buildings, machinery, equipment, roadways, utilities, and pollution control and abatement facilities; provision of loans for startup operating cost and working capital; professional services necessary for project planning and development; establishment of a revolving loan fund; development or operation of rural distance learning networks and/or programs for adult students; technical assistance for small and emerging businesses; technical assistance and training to rural communities related to passenger transportation services; loan participations.
Rural Business Opportunity Activities:
Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) funds may be used for the identification and analysis of business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources (including feasibility and business plan studies); technical assistance or leadership development training to rural entrepreneurs and managers; establish business support centers; conduct local or multi-county economic development planning; establish training centers which provide training to rural businesses in the utilization of interactive communication technologies to develop international trade and markets; pay fees and charges for professional services necessary to conduct technical assistance, training, or planning functions.
Agency Priorities: The majority of business sectors can be assisted by the program. However, USDA Rural Development is placing specific emphasis on Infrastructure, Partnership and Innovation in the following areas:
1. E-Connectivity (reliable and affordable high-speed internet)
2. Economic development
3. Harnessing technological innovation
4. Supporting a rural workforce
5. Improving the quality of life for rural America
REAP Zone Priorities: Additional consideration will also be given to applications that advance the strategic priorities for the region identified by the NEK Collaborative. For more information on these priorities, visit: https://www.nekcollaborative.org/about/priorities/
GrantWatch ID#: 182677
USDA Rural Development anticipates making 10 to 15 grants through both programs.
Vermont NEK REAP Zone: Applicants are encouraged to apply for no more than $100,000 in funding.
Vermont region: Due to limited statewide funding, applications of $30,000 or less are encouraged.
Eligible applicants for grant funds include non-profits, municipalities, development corporations, and state agencies.
- Vermont NOSA-Excluding the counties of the Northeast Kingdom (Caledonia, Essex and Orleans)
- Northeast Kingdom NOSA-For the Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties
Attend an applicant workshop (optional):
USDA Rural Development will host a Northeast Kingdom applicant workshop on Friday, February 8, 2019 at Catamount Arts (Cabaret Room), 115 Eastern Ave., St. Johnsbury, Vermont from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM.
USDA Rural Development will host an applicant workshop on Thursday, February 7, 2019 in the Federal Building (3rd floor, room 303) at 87 State Street in Montpelier, Vermont from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM.
The purpose of these workshops is to ensure RBDG applicants submit the most competitive application possible as well as meet with other applicants and funders to foster potential collaborations.
The meeting is optional, but USDA Rural Development encourages you to attend. Please contact Business Programs Specialist, Susan Poland should you have any questions.
Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local or State offices once per year.
LOI must be received by USDA Rural Development no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, January 4, 2019. If this deadline is not met, please contact USDA Rural Development to move forward with the application process.
USDA Rural Development staff will provide feedback on letters of intent by January 18, 2019.
Application Deadline: Sunday, March 31, 2019. Complete applications must be received by USDA Rural Development no later than 4:30 pm on Monday, April 1, 2019.
To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
All LOI and applications should be sent to the attention of:
Susan A. Poland, Business Programs Specialist
87 State Street, Suite 324
PO Box 249
Montpelier, VT 05601
Phone: (802) 828-6002
Check eligible rural areas here: https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=RBSmenu