USDA Offers Native American Rural Business Enterprise Grants

ICTMN Staff
4/17/14

Deadline May 16, 2014; early applications encouraged

The Nevada State Office of USDA Rural Development has announced it is accepting grant applications from tribal enterprises to develop small and emerging private business opportunities in rural areas of the state. Nationwide an estimated $2.4 million is available. The deadline for the national competition for the Native American set-aside for the Rural Business Enterprise Grant is May 16, 2014.

In 2013, two Nevada tribes benefitted from this grant; Pyramid Lake Tribe received a $70,000 grant to develop a feasibility study on developing a Tribal Internet Service Provider; and the Ely Shoshone Tribe received $20,000 to complete a feasibility study on its business enterprise activity for its woodcutting and pinyon pine nut gathering operations.

The grant provides funds for rural projects that finance the development of small and emerging rural businesses, and help fund distance adult learning for job training and advancement. Small and emerging private businesses are those with fewer than 50 employees and with less than $1 million in projected gross revenues.

Individual businesses are not eligible to apply, but nonprofits and private tribal entities, such as tribal corporations are eligible. In order to be eligible, the corporation must be owned by the tribe and distribute profits to the tribe. However, the governing board must be independent from the tribal government and elected or appointed for a specific time period.

Projects must show that more than 75 percent of the benefits of the project will be received by members of a Federally-recognized Native American Tribe. Application materials are available online at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/nvrbeg.html . Early applications are strongly encouraged.

Applications must be turned in by 5 p.m. on May 16, 2014 to any of the USDA Rural Development locations in Fallon, Elko, Las Vegas or Carson City. The mailing address for the State Office in Carson City is 1390 S. Curry St., Carson City, NV 89703. For more information, contact Michelle Kelly in Carson City, at (775) 887-1222 x 118, or David Foster, in Las Vegas, at (702) 407-1400 Ext. 103.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $198 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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