Business

May 1 Deadline to Apply for Rural Business Enterprise Grants

February 13, 2013, 3:39 PM HST
* Updated February 13, 4:26 PM
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USDA Rural Development is seeking applications for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.

There is no maximum level of grant funding. However, grants generally range from $10,000 up to $500,000. Smaller projects are given higher priority.

RBEG grants are available to eligible public bodies, and private nonprofit corporations to finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private business enterprises in any city or adjoining area that has a population less than 50,000.

Since no single town on the Big Island exceeds a population of 50,000, groups island-wide are eligible to apply.

“The RBEG program is designed to promote sustainable economic development for businesses in underserved rural communities throughout Hawaii and the Western Pacific,” said Chris Kanazawa, state director for USDA Rural Development.

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“In addition it is an excellent source of funding to enable public and non-profit organizations with the opportunity to leverage their resources to maximize the impact they make in the community.”

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RBEG funds may be used for technical assistance (providing assistance for marketing studies, feasibility studies, business plans, training, etc.) to small and emerging businesses.

Funds can also be used to purchase machinery and equipment to lease to a small and emerging business. Other ways to use the grant funding include constructing a building for a business incubator for a small and emerging business.

Last year the Hawaii / Western Pacific region was allocated $173,000 for the RBEG program with the bulk of funding going to Hawaii.

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As a result, seven projects were selected to fund feasibility studies, technical assistance, and training programs and a revolving loan fund.

While the fiscal year 2013, funding level is not yet known, allocation is expected to be similar to 2012 levels.

Applications for Hawaii / Western Pacific state RBEG funding for fiscal year 2013 are due by close of business on May 1.

More information on the BREG grant program can be found online at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_rbeg.html.

To apply for the BREG grants, contact the USDA Rural Development office in Hilo, (808) 933-8380 or email state director Chris Kanazawa, [email protected].

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