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USDA awarding grants to assist rural cooperatives, businesses

USDA awarding grants to assist rural cooperatives, businesses

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:01 pm

The Press 6.30.10 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting grant applications to assist rural businesses and create job opportunities through cooperative development centers.
Grants of up to $225,000 may be awarded to colleges, universities, and non-profit groups to create and operate centers that help individuals or groups establish, expand or operate rural businesses, especially cooperatives.
The centers promote President Obama’s goal to bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents by allowing them to acquire tools to help their businesses grow. Cooperative program grants can be used, among other things, to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans, and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services.
USDA may award up to $7.9 million in grants through this notice of funding availability. Grants may finance up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating the cooperative centers. Recipients must match 25 percent of the total project cost. Applications are due Aug. 9. 
The application guide for this grant program can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/rcdg/rcdg.htm.
 USDA administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of 6,100 employees located in the nation’s capital and 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers, and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $138 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
For more information, contact the Rural Development Office toll free at 1-800-342-3149, or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.

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