USDA announces ‘microentrepreneur’ assistance grants

USDA Rural Development is seeking applications to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.

Funding is now available through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).

This program has been established to fund, finance and facilitate microenterprise developments through loans to the microlender to establish a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund and grants to fund technical assistance.

“USDA Rural Development strives to improve the overall quality of rural communities,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “By providing loans and grants to start-up businesses through the new Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, we can assist with the development of local, rural businesses.”

Loans ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 with fixed interest rates will be made available to microlenders for startup and growing microenterprises.

To be eligible for this program, a MDO must be a non-profit entity, a federally recognized Indian tribe or a public institution of higher education.

Applications will be accepted throughout the year and awarded on a quarterly basis. For fiscal year 2010, applications must be received by July 16. To be eligible for a RMAP loan, a microentrepreneur must be located in a rural area, employ less that 10 full time employees and is seeking $50,000 or less in business capital and/or in need of business based technical assistance and training.

More information on how to apply for funding is available at http://edocket.access.gpo. gov/2010/pdf/2010-13380.pdf.

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