GM 12-070

Rural Business Opportunity Grants

On June 7, 2012, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the attached notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER regarding the availability of Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOGs). RBOGs are designed to fund projects that will lead to improved economic conditions in rural areas, including Indian Country. Federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations are among the eligible applicants.

Of the $2.37 million in available FY 2012 funds, $1.14 million is reserved for projects benefitting Indian tribes in rural areas. The remaining funds, $1.23 million, are unreserved with grants limited to $50,000. Grants under the reserved funds for tribal areas are not capped.

RBOG funds, unlike the larger Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEGs), are not for brick and mortar projects. RBOG funds may be used for projects such as:

• Rural business incubators
• Technology-based economic development
• Feasibility studies and business plans
• Long-term business strategic planning
• Leadership and entrepreneur training

USDA encourages applications that will support regional economic development.

The deadline for receipt of applications is August 6, 2012. Applicants are to contact their state USDA Rural Development State Office for additional information and a copy of the application forms. The attached notice lists contact information for each state office.

Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program.