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Grants available for tribal economic development

HURON – Bringing businesses or jobs to a community is the dream of most community leaders involved in economic development.  However, getting it done seems impossible at times, especially with limited funding.

The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development is now accepting applications for grants to support rural businesses and help create jobs. The funding is available nationwide to improve economic development in rural America.

The Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) is designed to assist with startup and expansion of small and emerging private businesses and/or nonprofits in rural communities.  Eligible applicants include public bodies, government entities, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations.

Funds can be used for business incubators, leadership and entrepreneur training, acquisition or development of land or buildings, capitalization of revolving loan funds to be re-lent to local businesses and many other purposes, all to assist small businesses.

Funds have been set aside nationally to assist Native Americans, and an additional XX will be allotted among the states for non-set aside applicants. All grants will be awarded competitively, based on several areas including:

  • Evidence showing job creation to occur with local businesses;
  • Percent of nonfederal funding committed to the project;
  • Economic need in the area to be served;
  • Consistency with local economic development priorities;
  • Experience of the grantee with similar efforts; and

“This program is one way the USDA demonstrates its commitment to strengthening our rural communities,” said Bruce Jones, Acting South Dakota State Director.  “These grants can help rural businesses in accessing resources they need to maintain and grow their business and create jobs in the communities they serve.”

Key Dates:

March 30, 2016: Native American Set Aside RBDG applications due

May 2, 2016: Non-Set Aside RBDG applications due

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

For more information, please contact Tammi Schone at


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