Grants Are Available to Help Rural Businesses

Applications due June 29.

USDA is accepting applications for grants for cooperative development centers to improve economic conditions in rural areas. Grants of up to $200,000 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 grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

"These cooperative development centers provide rural Americans with stronger technical and managerial skills helping small businesses become more profitable and creating jobs in rural communities," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

USDA may award up to $4.4 million in grants through this notice. Grants may finance up to 75% of the cost of establishing and operating the cooperative centers. Recipients must match 25% of the total project cost. Applications are due by the close of business June 29, 2009.

The application guide for this grant program can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops.htm.

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