Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Launched

What would you do with $45 million? If you’re the Department of Agriculture, you invest in rural communities by rolling out the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program!

This new program, established in the 2008 Farm Bill, makes grants and gives loan capital to organizations so they can provide training, technical assistance or make small loans to new and existing rural businesses with 10 or fewer employees. Applications are due July 16, 2010 for the first round of applications, with awards made quarterly. The next deadline will be September 30, 2010.

The Center for Rural Affairs helped to put this program in place, and is happy it is underway. There are aspects of the program we’re not entirely satisfied with, so we will continue to monitor its progress. USDA is still taking comments on the program until July 27, and we plan to submit suggestions.

To learn the latest updates about how theRural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program, visit www.cfra.org/renewrural/federal-micro-program.