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USDA Seeks Applicants to Advance Economic Development and Create Jobs in Oklahoma

USDA Seeks Applicants to Advance Economic Development and Create Jobs in Oklahoma

STILLWATER, OKLA., Dec. 7, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that the Oklahoma State Office for Rural Development is accepting applications to advance economic development and create jobs for people in rural America.

USDA is making this funding available under the Rural Business Development Grant program to support business opportunities or business enterprise projects in rural communities. Organizations eligible to receive funding include rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, federally recognized Tribes, public colleges and non-profit cooperatives.

“This grant opportunity is an excellent way rural communities and tribal entities can grow our Oklahoma economy and create job growth,” Corn said. “President Biden believes that one of the best ways to regrow our economy is to trust the ingenuity of our American entrepreneurs, and by providing this grant we can help these small businesses take a multiyear-year vision into becoming a reality in just one or two years.”

Projects must be consistent with local community and economic development strategic plans. They must also support other economic development activities in the surrounding community.

Funds may be used to establish business support centers or to finance job training and leadership development in rural areas. They may also be used to repair or modernize buildings; finance feasibility studies or business plans; or purchase equipment to lease to small or emerging businesses.

In fiscal year 2024, USDA anticipates that part of the funding may be set aside for:

  • Federally recognized Tribes.
  • Rural Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities/Rural Economic Area Partnerships.
  • Projects located in persistent poverty areas.
  • Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) projects.

Eligible applicants for the persistent poverty and SECD set-aside funds must demonstrate that 100% of the benefits of an approved grant will assist beneficiaries in the designated areas. The Department expects to invite applications in winter 2024 for set-aside funding to enhance the operation of rural transportation systems.

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.

“The Biden-Harris Administration believes rural Oklahoma has the potential to grow our economy and coming with that is new jobs and new opportunities in our rural communities and tribal nations across Oklahoma,” Corn said. “Contact our staff today at our State Office to see how Rural Development can be a partner in your community to accelerate that growth.”

Oklahoma applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development Oklahoma State Office by 4:30 p.m. CT on Feb. 28, 2024. For more information, email okbusiness@usda.gov or call 405-742-1060.

Visit Grants.gov or see page 84123 of the Dec.4, 2023, Federal Register for additional information.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, tribal and high-poverty areas. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.

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