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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Rural Businesses

By on June 10, 2016

SAN JUAN – USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Administrator Sam Rikkers has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications for grants to provide assistance to socially disadvantaged business groups in rural areas.

José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico, explained that the funding is being provided through the Socially Disadvantaged Group Grant (SDGG) Program. The USDA provides grants to local cooperatives and other organizations that provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance include providing leadership training, conducting feasibility studies and developing business and strategic plans.

USDA_logoRecipients eligible for these grants include groups of cooperatives, individual cooperatives or development centers that serve socially disadvantaged groups. The cooperatives or development centers can be based in any area, but the groups that receive technical assistance must be located in an eligible rural area. The USDA is encouraging applications for projects in census tracts with poverty rates of 20% or higher.

The USDA is making $3 million in grants available. The maximum award a recipient may receive is $175,000. All grants are awarded through a national competition.

“Rural America is an incredibly diverse place with many types of businesses and business owners participating in the economy,” USDA’s Rikkers said. “This funding will give small, rural businesses the technical assistance they need to compete in the global marketplace.”

For additional information, contact Danna Quiles at (787) 766-5355,

766-5363, 766-5379, 766-5412 or visit

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