Applications being accepted for grants to support small and emerging rural businesses

By Amy Mund

Special to The SUN

USDA Rural Development State Director Trudy Kareus announced that the agency is accepting applications for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG).

“This program provides much needed financing for the development of small and emerging private businesses throughout rural Colorado,” said Kareus. “The RBEG program is one of the most innovative and flexible programs that USDA has to create opportunities in small, rural communities.”

Past grant awardees have utilized funding for revolving-loan funds to provide low-interest loans to small and emerging businesses to finance feasibility studies and other types of technical assistance.

For example, the Town of Lyons received a grant to start a revolving-loan fund and assisted two local restaurants in replenishing their stock and replacing equipment damaged in the flood. The Montrose Downtown Development Authority received a grant to assist a local coffee shop to purchase updated equipment.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Jan. 23, and nonprofit economic development groups, public bodies and tribes are encouraged to apply. Grant funds may be used for targeted technical assistance, training and other activities to support the development of small, private business enterprises in rural areas.

USDA is focused on supporting rural small businesses with job training, business development opportunities, strategic community planning and other resources.

“These businesses are the backbone of rural economies. These grants can strengthen the health and prosperity of Colorado’s rural communities,” said Kareus.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Fiscal Year 2015 application package, please contact P.J. Howe, rural development specialist, at (970) 824-3476, ext. 111, or visit our Web page at USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.