GM 13-041

Rural Business Opportunity Grants

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting applications, via the attached May 14, 2013, FEDERAL REGISTER notice, for FY 2013 funding under its Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program (RBOG). Of the $2.6 million total, $919,820 is reserved for projects benefitting federally recognized tribes in rural areas. Electronic applications are due June 24, 2013, while paper applications must be postmarked by June 28, 2013. The attached notice also includes information regarding Rural Economic Partnerships Grants.

Among the eligible applicants are federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations.

The RBOG program, while remaining focused on improving economic conditions in rural areas, has a new emphasis beginning in FY 2013. The USDA is, along with the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, participating in an initiative called Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). There are no new funds for IMCP, rather, federal agencies are to utilize existing funding. Focus is on providing regional implementation strategy grants to promote rural economic development. The RBOG grants described in the attached notice are capped at $100,000 each but it is hoped that they will enhance the chances of receipt of large-scale IMCP grants in the future.

The USDA states: “For the first phase of IMCP in FY 2013, applicants should focus on identifying targeted industries, and specific public investments that will enhance the attractiveness of regions to private investment.” Strategies may also include expanding an existing industry in the region or implementing an existing regional economic development strategy.

Application forms are available through your Rural Development State Office. Addresses for these offices can be found at:

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