USDA announces $45.1 mil in assistance for rural microentrepreneurs
By Agri-Pulse Staff
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RMAP will provide loans up to $50,000 each “to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises,” businesses generally with ten employees or fewer. Rural Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) which provide microloans to rural microenterprises and microentrepreneurs and business-based training and technical assistance can qualify for loans of between a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $500,000 per year. Technical assistance-only grants are also available up to an estimated $130,000 maximum.
“The Obama Administration and USDA understand that helping small, start-up businesses is fundamental in building a sustainable rural community,” Vilsack said. “This new program will help provide access to capital, business-based training and technical assistance to the smallest of small businesses. We need to embrace new strategies to help create a thriving rural economy.”
USDA assistance provided to rural areas under this program may include loans and grants to rural microenterprises and microentrepreneurs and business-based training and technical assistance grants to rural microborrowers and potential microborrowers. It also may include other activities as “deemed appropriate by the Secretary” to ensure the development of rural microenterprises.
Applications will be accepted throughout the year and awarded on a quarterly basis. For fiscal year 2010, applications must be received by July 16, 2010. The total amount available in fiscal year 2010 is $45.1 million. Of this, $36.2 million will be available for loans, $7.6 million will be available for microlender technical assistance grants, and $1.3 million will be available for technical assistance-only grants. More information on how to apply for funding is available in the June 3 Federal Register, page 31413, http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-13380.pdf
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