Business grants can help small businesses start or grow and rural areas can benefit even more from them. Small businesses based in USA rural areas have a few such opportunities and the following one is one of the most important.

Rural communities in USA can benefit from the Rural Business Development Grants offered by USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture). The grants are dedicated to small businesses – who will employ less than 50 new people and have a revenue smaller than 1 million- in rural areas. The list of eligible entities include towns, state agencies, communities, authorities, non profit organizations, rural cooperatives organized as non profit organizations, recognized tribes and higher education institutions.

Eligible areas are towns and rural zones exterior to the periphery of any city which has a population of 50 000 or more. The sums offered by this grant vary, from $10,000 to $500,000, although there is not an established maximum sum. Candidates should know though that lower requested sums are given priority.

Applications will be selected based on multiple criteria, like proof of job creation, the economic need in the rural area for the specific project, experience of the candidate regarding similar projects. Another important aspect of the application is consistency with the priorities of local development.

There are two different types of grants: the enterprise grants and the opportunity grants. Enterprise grants can be used for small local businesses development: for training and learning objectives (such as project planning or product improvements), for land acquisition, constructions and renovations of building, for buying machinery or equipment, training for leadership and entrepreneurial skills, for improvement of transportation or for pollution control. The opportunity grants can be used for creating rural business incubators, for encouraging community economic development, for offering training on leadership and entrepreneurial subjects, for stimulating economic development based on technology, or for facilitating business plans and feasibility studies.

Applications can be submitted once a year, and each state has a different deadline. So, if you are interested in this opportunity, you must look for information depending on your state. The applications are submitted via the local or State office of the United States Department of Agriculture. Before applying for the grant, candidates must be registered in the System for Award Management and have a Data Universal Number System number. Applicants are advised that these registration can take a long time and should be initiated before applying for the grant.

If you are interested in this grant, you can check your compatibility here, on the official website. You should also find out all you need to know about this business grant here. Remember that the first step towards success when applying for a business grant is being well informed about it. So gather all the information you need before starting your application.

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