APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, February 26, 2021

Application Cycle Open: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development invites applications to compete for fiscal year 2021 (FY21) funding for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program.

Please note program funds are not available at this time, however USDA Rural Development anticipates level program funding for FY21.

Eligible applicants for grant funds include non-profits, municipalities, development corporations, and state agencies.

The RBDG program funds two types of eligible projects: SDA, Rural Development is seeking applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Community Facilities (CF) Grant Program. Although applications are accepted year-round, funding of applications are based on priority points, State Office ranking and funding availability. A local allocation is provided to New Jersey.

Rural Business Enterprise Activities:    Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) funds may be used for the acquisition and development of land, easements and rights-of-way; construction or repairs of buildings, machinery, equipment, roadways, utilities, and pollution control and abatement facilities; provision of loans for startup operating cost and working capital; professional services necessary for project planning and development; establishment of a revolving loan fund; development or operation of rural distance learning networks and/or programs for adult students; technical assistance for small and emerging businesses; technical assistance and training to rural communities related to passenger transportation services; loan participations.

Rural Business Opportunity Activities:    Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) funds may be used for the identification and analysis of business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources (including feasibility and business plan studies); technical assistance or leadership development training to rural entrepreneurs and managers; establish business support centers; conduct local or multi-county economic development planning; establish training centers which provide training to rural businesses in the utilization of interactive communication technologies to develop international trade and markets; pay fees and charges for professional services necessary to conduct technical assistance, training, or planning functions.

Additional information on project eligibility can be found in the program regulations §4280.417

Please note USDA Rural Development anticipates making approximately six grants using this notice. Due to limited statewide funding, applications of $30,000 or less are encouraged.

To learn more about the program, please visit RBDG NEW JERSEY


Application Deadline: Complete applications must be received by USDA Rural Development no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, February 26, 2021.

  • If an indirect cost rate will be used, you must provide a copy of your approved indirect cost rate with all approval documentation with the application, otherwise indirect costs are limited to 10% of Grant dollars.
  • Applications may be submitted via Email (preferred method) or hard copy, BUT a complete application MUST be received by COB (4:30pm) on Friday, February 26th, 2021 (postmarks are not acceptable)
  • All application documentation, including verification of match funds, support letters and commitment letters must have required signatures.
  • Electronic signatures on emailed applications will be accepted. Submission of hard copy applications require original Ink signatures.
  • Incomplete applications will not compete for funding.
  • Applications will not be accepted after 4:30pm, Tuesday, February 26th, 2021. This includes emailed applications.

Rural Business Development Grant Applicant Toolkit

Section 6025 Strategic Economic and Community Development:

Section 6025 of the 2018 Farm Bill enables the Secretary of Agriculture to provide priority to projects that support strategic economic and community development plans. Projects must be part of both a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral Strategic Community Investment Plan in order to receive consideration for the set aside. plan should address multiple jurisdictions, and the plan should document that there is participation by multiple stakeholders.

Applicants who have proposed eligible projects for RBDG, that support multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral Strategic Community Investment Plans can request the opportunity for SECD set aside funding by submitting Form 1980-88 and other required information in RD Instruction 1980-K, “Strategic Economic and Community Development.” Innovation Center staff will assess the packages for completeness.

RD 1980-K

Agency Priorities: The majority of business sectors can be assisted by the program. However, USDA Rural Development is placing specific emphasis on Infrastructure, Partnership and Innovation in the following areas:

  1. E-Connectivity (reliable and affordable high-speed internet)
  2. Economic development
  3. Harnessing technological innovation
  4. Supporting a rural workforce
  5. Improving the quality of life for rural America

To compete for the New Jersey State Allocation, applicants must follow these steps:

  • Submit a Letter of Intent to USDA Rural Development either by email (preferred method) or mail no later than 4:30 pm on Friday, December 11, 2020.
  • Submit a completed signed and dated application to USDA Rural Development either by email (preferred method) or mail no later than 4:30 pm on Friday February 26, 2021.
  • Please Note: Emailed applications must contain all required documents, including signatures where required on all forms and documents (electronic signatures are accepted). Incomplete applications will not compete for funding.

For additional information, please contact Maryann Tancredi, Business Programs Director. (See below)

Maryann Tancredi, Business Programs Director
521 Fellowship Road, Suite 130
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: (856-787-7752)

English English Español Español