Rural Development IS committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. They offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services such as housing, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.
They promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions, and community-managed lending pools. They also offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.
Furthermore, they provide technical assistance to help communities undertake community empowerment programs. They also help rural residents buy or rent safe, affordable housing and make health and safety repairs to their homes.
Value Added Producer Grant
The Value Added Producer Grant program helps agricultural producers enter into value- added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program.
Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)
RBDG is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants
Provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance (REDA) to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. This program helps promote American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers.
Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant
The primary objective of the SDGG program is to provide technical assistance to socially- disadvantaged groups through cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers.