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Notice

Inviting Applications for Rural Business Opportunity Grants

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an Agency within the Rural Development mission area, announces the availability of grants of up to $50,000 per application from the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program for fiscal year (FY) 2009, to be competitively awarded. For multi-state projects, grant funds of up to $150,000 will be available on a competitive basis. These limits do not apply to specific funding for certain specifically designated rural areas as discussed below. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final Start Printed Page 10711appropriations bill, which may or may not provide funding for this program, to allow applicants sufficient time to apply for and obtain leverage financing, submit applications, and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. The Agency will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the appropriations, if any. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk.

DATES:

The deadline for the receipt of applications in the Rural Development State Office is March 31, 2009. The RBOG appropriation for FY 2009 may provide specific funding for rural areas designated: Federally Recognized Native American Tribes' (FRNAT), Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, and Rural Economic Area Partnerships, and these applications must also be received in the Rural Development State Office by March 31, 2009. The Agency reserves the right to extend this application deadline. Any applications received at a Rural Development State Office after these dates for this type of assistance will not be considered for FY 2009 funding.

ADDRESSES:

Entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact a Rural Development State Office for further information and copies of the application package. Submit applications to the USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where your project is located. A list of the USDA Rural Development State Office addresses and telephone numbers are as follows:

District of Columbia

USDA Rural Development, Specialty Lenders Division, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 6867, STOP 3225, Washington, DC 20250-3225, (202) 720-1400.

A list of Rural Development State Offices follows:

Alabama

USDA Rural Development State Office, Sterling Centre, Suite 601, 4121 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106-3683, (334) 279-3400/TDD (334) 279-3495.

Alaska

USDA Rural Development State Office, 800 West Evergreen, Suite 201, Palmer, AK 99645-6539, (907) 761-7705/TDD (907) 761-8905.

Arizona

USDA Rural Development State Office, 230 N. 1st Ave., Suite 206, Phoenix, AZ 85003, (602) 280-8701/TDD (602) 280-8705.

Arkansas

USDA Rural Development State Office, 700 West Capitol Avenue, Room 3416, Little Rock, AR 72201-3225, (501) 301-3200/TDD (501) 301-3279.

California

USDA Rural Development State Office, 430 G Street, # 4169, Davis, CA 95616-4169, (530) 792-5800/TDD (530) 792-5848.

Colorado

USDA Rural Development State Office, 655 Parfet Street, Room E-100, Lakewood, CO 80215, (720) 544-2903/TDD (720) 544-2976.

Delaware-Maryland

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1221 College Park Drive, Suite 200, Dover, DE 19904, (302) 857-3580/TDD (302) 857-3585.

Florida/Virgin Islands

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4440 NW 25th Place, P.O. Box 147010, Gainesville, FL 32614-7010, (352) 338-3400/TDD (352) 338-3499.

Georgia

USDA Rural Development State Office, Stephens Federal Building, 355 E. Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601-2768, (706) 546-2162/TDD (706) 546-2034.

Hawaii

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 311, 154 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720, (808) 933-8380/TDD (808) 933-8321.

Idaho

USDA Rural Development State Office, 9173 West Barnes Drive, Suite A1, Boise, ID 83709, (208) 378-5600/TDD (208) 378-5644.

Illinois

USDA Rural Development State Office, 2118 West Park Court, Suite A, Champaign, IL 61821, (217) 403-6200/TDD (217) 403-6240.

Indiana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 5975 Lakeside Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46278, (317) 290-3100/TDD (317) 290-3343.

Iowa

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 873, 210 Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50309, (515) 284-4663/TDD (515) 284-4858.

Kansas

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1303 S.W. First American Place, Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66604-4040, (785) 271-2700/TDD (785) 271-2767.

Kentucky

USDA Rural Development State Office, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, KY 40503, (859) 224-7300/TDD (859) 224-7422.

Louisiana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3727 Government Street, Alexandria, LA 71302, (318) 473-7921/TDD (318) 473-7655.

Maine

USDA Rural Development State Office, 967 Illinois Avenue, Suite 4, P.O. Box 405, Bangor, ME 04402-0405, (207) 990-9160/TDD (207) 942-7331.

Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Connecticut

USDA Rural Development State Office, 451 West Street, Suite 2, Amherst, MA 01002-2999, (413) 253-4300/TDD (413) 253-4590.

Michigan

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 200, East Lansing, MI 48823, (517) 324-5190/TDD (517) 324-5169.

Minnesota

USDA Rural Development State Office, 375 Jackson Street, Suite 410, St. Paul, MN 55101-1853, (651) 602-7800/TDD (651) 602-3799.

Mississippi

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Suite 831, 100 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39269, (601) 965-4316/TDD (601) 965-5850.

Missouri

USDA Rural Development State Office, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Parkade Center, Suite 235, Columbia, MO 65203, (573) 876-0976/TDD (573) 876-9480.

Montana

USDA Rural Development State Office, 900 Technology Boulevard, Suite B, P.O. Box 850, Bozeman, MT 59771, (406) 585-2580/TDD (406) 585-2562.

Nebraska

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 152, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE 68508, (402) 437-5551/TDD (402) 437-5093.

Nevada

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1390 South Curry Street, Carson City, NV 89703-5146, (775) 887-1222/TDD (775) 885-0633.

New Jersey

USDA Rural Development State Office, 8000 Midlantic Drive, 5th Floor North, Suite 500, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054, (856) 787-7700/TDD (856) 787-7784.

New Mexico

USDA Rural Development State Office, 6200 Jefferson Street, NE., Room 255, Albuquerque, NM 87109, (505) 761-4950/TDD (505) 761-4938.

New York

USDA Rural Development State Office, The Galleries of Syracuse, 441 South Salina Street, Suite 357, Syracuse, NY 13202-2541, (315) 477-6400/TDD (315) 477-6447.

North Carolina

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4405 Bland Road, Suite 260, Raleigh, NC 27609, (919) 873-2000/TDD (919) 873-2003. Start Printed Page 10712

North Dakota

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 208, 220 East Rosser, P.O. Box 1737, Bismarck, ND 58502-1737, (701) 530-2037/TDD (701) 530-2113.

Ohio

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 507, 200 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215-2418, (614) 255-2400/TDD (614) 255-2554.

Oklahoma

USDA Rural Development State Office, 100 USDA, Suite 108, Stillwater, OK 74074-2654, (405) 742-1000/TDD (405) 742-1007.

Oregon

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 801, Portland, OR 97232, (503) 414-3300/TDD (503) 414-3387.

Pennsylvania

USDA Rural Development State Office, One Credit Union Place, Suite 330, Harrisburg, PA 17110-2996, (717) 237-2299/TDD (717) 237-2261.

Puerto Rico

USDA Rural Development State Office, IBM Building, Suite 601, 654 Munos Rivera Avenue, San Juan, PR 00918-6106, (787) 766-5095/TDD (787) 766-5332.

South Carolina

USDA Rural Development State Office, Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly Street, Room 1007, Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 765-5163/TDD (803) 765-5697.

South Dakota

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Room 210, 200 Fourth Street, SW., Huron, SD 57350, (605) 352-1100/TDD (605) 352-1147.

Tennessee

USDA Rural Development State Office, 3322 West End Avenue, Suite 300, Nashville, TN 37203-1084, (615) 783-1300.

Texas

USDA Rural Development State Office, Federal Building, Suite 102, 101 South Main, Temple, TX 76501, (254) 742-9700/TDD (254) 742-9712.

Utah

USDA Rural Development State Office, Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4311, Salt Lake City, UT 84138, (801) 524-4320/TDD (801) 524-3309.

Vermont/New Hampshire

USDA Rural Development State Office, City Center, 3rd Floor, 89 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, (802) 828-6000/TDD (802) 223-6365.

Virginia

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1606 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 238, Richmond, VA 23229-5014, (804) 287-1550/TDD (804) 287-1753.

Washington

USDA Rural Development State Office, 1835 Black Lake Boulevard SW., Suite B, Olympia, WA 98512-5715, (360) 704-7740/TDD (360) 704-7760.

West Virginia

USDA Rural Development State Office, 75 High Street, Room 320, Morgantown, WV 26505-7500, (304) 284-4860/TDD (304) 284-4836.

Wisconsin

USDA Rural Development State Office, 4949 Kirschling Court, Stevens Point, WI 54481, (715) 345-7600/TDD (715) 345-7614.

Wyoming

USDA Rural Development State Office, 100 East B, Federal Building, Room 1005, P.O. Box 11005, Casper, WY 82602-5006, (307) 233-6700/TDD (307) 233-6733.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Overview

Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS).

Funding Opportunity Type: Rural Business Opportunity Grants.

Announcement Type: Initial Solicitation Announcement.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.773.

Dates: Application Deadline: Completed applications for these funds must be received in the Rural Development State Office no later than March 31, 2009, to be eligible for FY 2009 grant funding. Applications received after this date will not be eligible for FY 2009 grant funding.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

The RBOG program is authorized under section 306(a)(11) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(11)). The Rural Development State Offices administer the RBOG program on behalf of USDA Rural Development at the State level. The primary objective of the program is to improve the economic conditions of rural areas. Assistance provided to rural areas under this program may include technical assistance for business development and economic development planning. To ensure that a broad range of communities have the opportunity to benefit from the program, no grant will exceed $50,000, unless it is a multi-State project where funds may not exceed $150,000. As indicated in the summary, these limits do not apply to specified funding for rural areas designated: FRNAT's, Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, and Rural Economic Area Partnerships.

Awards are made on a competitive basis using specific selection criteria contained in 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G. Information required to be in the application package include an SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance;” applicant's organizational documents; Scope of Work Narrative; Income Sheet; Balance Sheet or current audit if available; AD-1047, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions;” AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion—Lower Tier Covered Transactions;” AD-1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements;” Restrictions on Lobbying, RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement;” and RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.” See 7 CFR 4284.639 for additional application requirements. Information required to be in the application package are contained in 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G. The State Director may assign up to 15 discretionary points to an application, and the Agency Administrator may assign up to 20 additional discretionary points for projects funded from the National Office reserve. Discretionary points awarded by the State Director or Administrator must be based on geographic distribution of funds, special importance for implementation of a strategic plan in partnership with other organizations, or extraordinary potential for success due to superior project plans or qualifications of the grantee. To ensure the equitable distribution of funds, a maximum of two projects from each State that score the greatest number of points based on the selection criteria and discretionary points will be considered by the National Office for funding. Applications will be tentatively scored by the State Offices and submitted to the National Office for final review and selection.

The National Office will review the scores based on the grant selection criteria and weights contained in 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G. All applicants will be notified by USDA Rural Development of the Agency's decision on the awards.

Definitions

The definitions are published at 7 CFR 4284.603.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Grant.

Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2009.

Total Funding: To be determined by appropriations bill, if any.

Approximate Number of Awards: To be determined by amount received in appropriations bill, if any.

Maximum Award: $50,000 (except as otherwise specifically provided herein). Start Printed Page 10713

Anticipated Award Date: June 30, 2009.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

Grants may be made to public bodies, nonprofit corporations, Indian tribes on Federal or State reservations and other federally recognized tribal groups, and cooperatives with members that are primarily rural residents and that conduct activities for the mutual benefit of the members.

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

Matching funds are not required.

C. Other Eligibility Requirements

Applications will only be accepted for projects to assist in promoting sustainable economic development in rural communities.

D. Completeness Eligibility

Applications will not be considered for funding if they do not provide sufficient information to determine eligibility or are missing required elements.

IV. Fiscal Year 2009 Application and Submission Information

A. Address To Request Application Package

For further information, entities wishing to apply for assistance should contact the Rural Development State Office identified in this notice to obtain copies of the application package.

Applicants are encouraged to submit applications through the Grants.gov Web site at: http://www.grants.gov. Applications may be submitted in either electronic or paper format. Users of Grants.gov will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit the application via the Grants.gov Web site. Applications may not be submitted by electronic mail.

  • When you enter the Grants.gov Web site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site as well as the hours of operation. USDA Rural Development strongly recommends that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov. Applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at 1-866-705-5711.
  • You may submit all documents electronically through the Web site, including all information typically included on the application for RBOGs and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • After electronically submitting an application through the Web site, the applicant will receive an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.
  • USDA Rural Development may request that the applicant provide original signatures on forms at a later date.
  • If applicants experience technical difficulties on the closing date and are unable to meet the deadline, you may submit a paper copy of your application to your respective Rural Development State Office. Paper applications submitted to a Rural Development State Office must meet the closing date and local time deadline.

Please note that applicants must locate the downloadable application package for this program by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number or FedGrants Funding Opportunity Number, which can be found at http://www.fedgrants.gov.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirement contained in this Notice is approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0024.

B. Content and Form of Submission

An application must contain all of the required elements. Each application received in a Rural Development State Office will be reviewed to determine if it is consistent with the eligible purposes contained in section 306 of the CONACT. Each selection priority criterion outlined in 7 CFR 4284.639, must be addressed in the application. Failure to address any of the criteria will result in a zero-point score for that criterion and will impact the overall evaluation of the application. Copies of 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G, will be provided to any interested applicant making a request to a Rural Development State Office listed in this notice, or can be obtained at the Rural Development Web link: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/​regs/​regs_​toc.html.

C. Submission Dates and Times

Application Deadline date: March 31, 2009.

Explanation of Deadlines: Applications for funds must be in the Rural Development State Office by the deadline date.

V. Application Review Information

The National Office will score applications based on the grant selection criteria and weights contained in 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G and will select a grantee subject to the grantee's satisfactory submission of the additional items required by 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G and the RBS Letter of Conditions.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

Successful applicants will receive notification for funding from the Rural Development State Office. Applicants must comply with all applicable statutes and regulations before the grant award will be approved. Unsuccessful applications will receive notification by mail.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in the 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G.

VII. Agency Contacts

For general questions about this announcement, please contact your USDA Rural Development State Office identified in this notice.

Nondiscrimination Statement

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication and Compliance, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.”

Start Signature

Dated: March 4, 2009.

Pat Fiala,

Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E9-5407 Filed 3-11-09; 8:45 am]

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