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Business Grants Promote Rural Development

More than $13 million heads to the country for programs and projects that could save or create about 3,000 jobs.

This week at the Farm Progress Show, Ag Secretary Mike Johanns announced the release of $13.7 million in economic development grants for rural communities and Native American organizations in 48 states. The funds are being provided through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grant programs of USDA's Rural Development mission area.

The RBEG program provides funding to schools, businesses and local organizations to help them conduct economic development activities, finance business expansions and make infrastructure improvements.

The RBOG program finances training and technical assistance for business development. Thirty recipient organizations announced today are receiving funding under a priority effort that helps create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of Native Americans living and working in rural communities.

In Maine, for example, the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council plans to use USDA Rural Development funds to support economic development activities in the Katahdin area. In Pinal County, Ariz., the funds will be used to offer technical assistance for high-speed internet in the community of Eloy.

A complete list of the new grants is online at

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