Rural Business Enterprise Grants - ARRA

To facilitate the development of small and emerging private business, industry, and related employment for improving the economy in rural communities.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: Not applicable.

Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

A listing of RD State Offices can be found at

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Rural business enterprise grant (RBEG) funds may be used to create, expand or operate rural distance learning networks or programs that provide educational or job training instruction related to potential employment or job advancement to adult students; develop, construct or acquire land, buildings, plants, equipment, access streets and roads, parking areas, utility extensions, necessary water supply and waste disposal facilities; refinancing; services and fees; and to establish a revolving loan fund.

All uses must assist a small and emerging private business enterprise except for the TDG program.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants eligible for RBEG funds are public bodies and nonprofit corporations serving rural areas such as States, counties, cities, townships, and incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, authorities, districts and Indian tribes on Federal and State reservations which will serve rural areas.

Applicants eligible for TDG funds are statewide, private, nonprofit, public television systems whose coverage is predominantly rural.

Rural area for this program is defined as a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population of 50,000 inhabitants or less, other than an urbanized area immediately adjacent to a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population in excess of 50,000 inhabitants.

Beneficiary Eligibility

A small and emerging private business enterprise which will employ 50 or less new employees and has less than $1.0 million in projected gross revenue. Public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and Federally recognized Indian tribes receive the grant to assist a business. Grants are not made directly to the business.


Evidence of legal capacity, economic feasibility and financial responsibility relative to the activity for which assistance is requested. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. SF-424 is filed at the Rural Development local office.

Award Procedures

After the application has been reviewed by the RD local office, it is forwarded to the RD State Office for review and processing instructions. Following approval by the State Office, funds are made available to the local office for final delivery. Notification of awards must be made to the designated State Central Information Reception Agency.


Not Applicable.


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5; Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended, Section 310B, Public Law 92-419, 7 U.S.C. 1989, Public Law 101-624, Public Law 102-142, 7 U.S.C. 1932.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Other - Not Specified.


If an application is rejected, the reasons for rejection are fully stated. Applicant may request a review of this decision from the next higher management level of Rural Business-Cooperative Service.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds to be available through September 30, 2010. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly.

Post Assistance Requirements


Forms SF-269, "Financial Status Report," and a Project Performance Activity Report are required of all grantees on a quarterly basis (due 15 working days after end of quarter).

A final Project Performance Report is required with the last SF-269.

The final report may serve as the last quarterly report.

Grantees shall constantly monitor performance to ensure that time schedules are being met, projected work by time periods is being accomplished, and other performance objectives are being achieved.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient s systems of financial management and internal control to meet terms and conditions of grants and other agreements.


The grantee shall maintain adequate records and accounts to assure that grant funds are used for authorized purposes.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 08 $54,612,299; FY 09 est $38,227,000; FY 10 est $38,227,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Average: $100,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR 1942, Subpart G

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. A listing of RD State Offices can be found at

Headquarters Office

Director, Specialty Programs Division Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW , Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: 2027201400

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Projects selected for funding should, as much as practical, adhere to the following priorities: (1) Projects which will be located in communities having a large portion of their population with low incomes; (2) projects which will save existing jobs; (3) projects which will create jobs; and (4) projects located in areas with high unemployment rate. In addition to meeting the requirements of the RBEG Program, applicants must also comply with applicable provisions of the ARRA and any related regulations and guidance.

Vertical farms are designed in a way to avoid the pressing issues about growing food crops in drought-and-disease-prone fields miles away from the population centers in which they will be consumed.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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