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If you haven't, this is the year to start! Our partners have released details about the FY2023 grant cycle for the Rural Development Business Grant (RDBG) program.

This is a fantastic way for eligible entities (non-profits, Indian Tribes, or Public Bodies/Government Entities) to give a leg up to their business-supporting programs in rural area.

It's administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division, who are spreading the word that there are some significant differences in the forms and instructions. If you've applied for RDBG in previous cycles, don't use the same forms you used last time!

Applications for the FY2023 cycle are due next February. We've included some commentary from Lad Barney, USDA's Business & Cooperative Programs Director for the state of Montana:

"Montana typically receives a limited allocation of RBDG funds on an annual basis to fund Montana projects which means usually there is insufficient funding to award every application submitted for funding consideration. To maximize the impact of limited funds and to stretch funds as far as possible Montana has historically reached projects that have the following parameters:
Montana’s average size RBDG grant was just under $35,000 last year, nationally, it’s $75,000; a firm commitment of cash matching funds from non-federal sources was included. The more leverage funds, the greater the scoring award; job creation/retention was supported by letters from the business(es) assisted.
To be competitive when applying for RBDG funds, proposed projects should approximate these levels. Thank you for your interest in Rural Development’s programs. Of course, the Montana RBCS Team is ready to serve you but please also contact me should you have any questions."

Spread the following resources far and wide with your business development project partners in the Treasure State!

  1. RBDG Fact Sheet.

  2. RBDG Web Site Link.

  3. This [information] provides additional information on the application window for this year. In accordance with Federal Register Vol. 87, No. 225, Wednesday, November 23, 2022, the application window closes February 28, 2023.

  4. RBDG applications are being accepted now. Applications may be submitted in paper or electronic format (email) to the appropriate Rural Development State Office and must be received by 4:30p.m. local time on February 28, 2023. Postmark dates will not be acceptable this funding cycle. Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective Rural Development State Office for a Specialist’s contact information to submit an electronic application prior to the submission deadline date. All applications received after the deadline, or are determined incomplete, will not be eligible for scoring and competition.

  5. RBDG Application Guide & Checklist – This is a template that may be used to develop an application for RBDG funds. It is a fillable Word doc. This email also has additional forms attached which will be needed for the application to be considered complete. When proposing the budget, please use whole dollar amounts, no cents (such as $5.00).

  6. All applicants must have a SAM Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). You may obtain them for free by going to the official website.

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Did you know that the Choteau Area Port Authority was the first tri-state MEDA assessment community in 2017? They do fantastic work in Choteau, MT in Teton County and they currently have not one, not two, but THREE Requests For Proposals (RFPs) published for various projects they are pursuing. If you have colleagues that are looking for leads in the Montana area, please encourage them to submit a proposal for these projects, including Commmunity Coordination, Grant Writing Services, and Digital Media Marketing!

RFP Summary 22 final
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We work with the folks at the Montana State University Extension system to get information out to everyone who needs it. If you've been looking for an opportunity to advance community development in Montana through your career, we recommend taking a look at their job announcement for Custer County, MT and Miles City in particular!

CD Flyer
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