Time to apply for business development grants in rural Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) -Rural Nebraska towns are encouraged to apply for the state’s Rural Business Development Grants.

The program is now open and accepting new applications, director Joan Scheel said.

“We are proud to support small businesses through grants and loans, helping our rural main streets thrive,” she said in a press release.  “Everyone can contribute to local business success by ‘shopping local’ this holiday season and by spreading the word about the resources available from USDA Rural Development.

In addition to supporting local businesses as customers, community members can work with USDA Rural Development to provide small businesses with training, loan funds and technical assistance.

A previous grant won by Hayes County Economic Development Corporation was used to support local grocery stores.

The corporation used the funds to provide a loan to Kylene Littrel, who had recently moved to the county and expressed interest in buying a local grocery store.  It helped her create a business plan and apply for additional financing.

The family became the new owners of the grocery store.

Softley said if it had closed, Hayes Center’s 214 residents would have had to travel more than 26 miles.

Grants must be used for projects that benefit rural areas or towns outside of metro areas with a population of 50,000 or more.

These grants provide technical assistance, loans and/or training for small rural businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenue.

There is no maximum grant amount.  But smaller requests are given higher priority.

New applicants are asked to contact the department before Dec. 31 so it can refine proposals before the next funding deadline, which is expected to be early 2023.

Interested people are encouraged to contact the following business programs specialists:

For more information on USDA Rural Development, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to receive updates, visit its GovDelivery subscriber page.

Categories: Nebraska News, News