Rural Development issued the following stakeholder announcement on September 14, 2023:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to expand access to new and better markets for rural small business owners and microentrepreneurs.

The Department is making approximately $29 million available in funding through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).  USDA provides RMAP funding to non-profits, Tribes, colleges and universities to create revolving loan fund programs and support training and technical assistance for rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. Rural businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees are eligible for loans and technical assistance.

USDA is particularly interested in applications that will advance Biden-Harris Administration priorities to:

  • Reduce climate pollution and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.
  • Ensure all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD-funded projects; and
  • Help rural communities recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure.

Applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development State Office where the project is located no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the following dates:

  • First Quarter: Sept. 30, 2023
  • Second Quarter: Dec. 31, 2024
  • Third Quarter: March 31, 2024
  • Fourth Quarter: June 30, 2024

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to ask questions about their project, the program or the application process.

Additional information is available on page 63054 of the Sept. 14, 2023, Federal Register.

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