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USDA Announces Availability of Grants to Spur Job Creation

USDA Announces Availability of Grants to Spur Job Creation

Rural Development funds will go toward cooperative development centers.

USDA is accepting grant applications to help rural businesses and create job opportunities through cooperative development centers. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says cooperative development centers create jobs by providing rural business owners with technical and managerial skills to improve their operations. He says the centers further the Obama Administration's effort to create a path of opportunity for all hard-working Americans to enter the middle-class and strengthen small and mid-sized communities.
 
Colleges, universities and non-profit groups can receive grants of up to $225,000 to create and operate centers that help individuals or groups establish, expand or operate rural businesses - especially cooperatives. The grants can be use to conduct feasibility studies, create and implement business plans and help businesses develop new markets for their products and services - among other things.
 
USDA is able to award up to $7.9 million in grants through this notice of funding availability. Grants may finance up to 75% of the cost of establishing and operating the cooperative centers - and recipients must match 25% of the total project cost. Applications are due Aug. 9 and are available through the USDA's Rural Development Web site at
www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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