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USDA opens grant cycle to support rural job creation, business opportunities

USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for grants that will help create jobs and business opportunities for socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas.

The agency is making the funding available under the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant program, which provides technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas.

“This program supports Rural Development’s mission to improve the quality of life for rural Americans and commit agency resources to those in need,” it stated. 

USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance equity and combat climate change. The extra points will increase the likelihood of funding for projects that will advance these key priorities and expand geographic diversity of socially disadvantaged groups from these funds.

A socially disadvantaged group is defined as one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice without regard to their individual qualities.

Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers where a majority of governing board members are from socially disadvantaged groups, said Luis R. García, USDA Rural Development acting state director for Puerto Rico.

Grants must be used to provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The maximum grant award is $175,000.

Examples of technical assistance include:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Business plans
  • Strategic planning
  • Leadership training

Electronic applications must be submitted to Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. June 13, 2022.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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