Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on March 21 that USDA is seeking applications for grants to help rural businesses create jobs and spur economic development.
USDA Rural Development’s Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program will fund up to $8.6 million to “foster regional innovation, create sustainable jobs and help ensure long-term prosperity.
“The deadline for submitting RCDI applications is May 9, 2012. Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development state office where the applicant’s headquarters are located. A list of these offices is available on the USDA Rural Development website. For more information, see the March 21 Federal Register.
- Provide technical assistance to improve the capacity of local organizations to complete successful housing, economic development and community facilities projects;
- Help recipients complete pre-development requirements – such as architectural and engineering plans;
- Help development organizations improve their board operations, management and knowledge of financial and information technology systems;
- Provide homeownership education or training for entrepreneurs.
“Part of the RCDI funds to be awarded may be used for projects associated with the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, which was announced on March 8, 2012. The Jobs Accelerator is being funded by USDA, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission.”