USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Eric Vigil announced the agency is seeking applications through the Rural Business Development Grant program, which will be used to help rural businesses grow and create jobs.
In making the announcement Vigil said, “This is a great opportunity to help rural New Mexico businesses with much-needed financial assistance, especially because of the slow economic growth throughout the state.” He added, “I urge eligible entities that provide development opportunities for small rural business to apply for this program, --especially if the business owner has a good idea on how to expand their business.”
RBDG grant funds can be used for targeted technical assistance, training and other similar activities that support the business development of small business enterprises in rural areas. The grant can also be used to benefit small rural businesses through acquiring or developing land, buildings and equipment; establishing a revolving loan fund; guiding the development of a plan; or supporting rural distance learning programs that provide educational job training to adult entrepreneurs.
Applicants for these funds must be a non-profit entity, Indian tribe, or a public governmental entity, including states, towns, cities, land grants, and other subdivisions of the state. Grant projects must serve only rural areas, which generally are areas outside Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Rio Rancho. Successful applicants will use the RBDG grant funds to assist small rural businesses to develop and grow their business which in turn promotes economic growth in rural communities.
Examples of successful applicants for RBDG funds include:
• The Northern New Mexico Regional Arts Center in Española which received $12,500 to provide local artists with additional education to better manage their businesses.
• In Clayton, Union County received a copier for use by local small businesses. The copier helps the small businesses carry on normal business copying in an area where there is no copy company and where copiers are in short supply.
All new RBDG applications must be received by Friday, April 28, 2017. This includes applications for the program’s Native American set-aside funds. Real estate-related grant applications should be received as soon as possible so that environmental reviews do not delay obligation of funds.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Rural Development staff well in advance of the deadline for guidance, fact sheets, and application templates. Contacts are:
Albuquerque State Office: Jesse Monfort Bopp, 505-761-4952 or Jesse.Bopp@nm.usda.gov ; or Carlos Contreras, 505-761-4958 or Carlos.Contreras@nm.usda.gov; Aztec: Evert Oldham; 505.334.3090, Ext. 111 or Evert.Oldham@nm.usda.gov; Las Cruces: Kathy Barrett; 575.522.8775, Ext. 122 or Kathy.A.Barrett@nm.usda.gov; Roswell: Ray Melton, 575.622.8745, Ext. 4 or Ray.Melton@nm.usda.gov.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@USDARD ) has helped more than 1.2 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; and invested more than $14 billion to start or expand nearly 122,000 rural businesses. USDA also invested $38.6 billion in 1,057 electric projects that have financed more than 198,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.
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