USDA offers grants for programs to create high-wage jobs and new businesses in underserved rural communities

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is accepting grant applications for community- driven programs that will help create high-wage jobs and new businesses in underserved rural communities.

The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy program provides grants for job accelerator partnerships that will serve people in low-income and underserved rural communities.

For fiscal year 2023, the RISE program is making $2 million available to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. The funding may be used to support innovation centers and job accelerator programs that improve the ability of distressed rural communities to create high-wage jobs, form new businesses, and identify and maximize local assets.

USDA encourages applications that serve the smallest communities with the lowest incomes.

USDA is also offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to create more and better market opportunities and improved infrastructure, advance equity, and combat climate change. These extra points will increase the likelihood of funding for projects seeking to address these critical challenges in rural America.

The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 20, 2023. Applications must be submitted through Potential applicants may submit a concept proposal for review by the agency to no later than 4:30 p.m. local time Feb. 21.

The minimum award amount per grant is $500,000. The maximum award amount per grant is $2 million. For additional information, see page 3705 of the Jan. 20, 2023, Federal Register.

Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development State Office ahead of the application deadline for more information about the program or the application process.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit