Nevada tribes encouraged to apply for business, broadband grants | FirstNationsFocus.com

Nevada tribes encouraged to apply for business, broadband grants

First Nation’s Focus

CARSON CITY, Nev. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development is accepting applications for a grant that supports businesses and jobs in rural Nevada.

The department's Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program can be used in rural areas to support targeted technical assistance, training, feasibility studies and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses.

Nevada cities and counties, nonprofits, economic development authorities and federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply; individual businesses are not eligible.

In the past, the Nevada allocation has amounted to about $130,000. In addition, a separate Native American set-aside that is funded through a national competition is available.

These funds, according to USDA, helped Nye County Regional Economic Development Authority establish a revolving loan fund for rural businesses and helped fund technical assistance and training to the Wells Band Tribe and tribal entrepreneurs.

Go to https://bit.ly/2DCHK7T to learn more about the RBDG program.

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Grant applications must be received no later than March 29. If interested, contact Michelle Kelly at michelle.kelly@nv.usda.gov or 775-887-1222, ext. 4765 for assistance in Northern Nevada; or Laura Chavez at laura.chavez@nv.usda.gov or 775-887-1222, ext. 4764 for assistance in Southern Nevada.

Community Connect grants also available

In related news, the USDA Office of Rural Development program is also accepting applications for Community Connect grants aimed at helping rural communities extend and expand broadband service.

Nevada Director Phil Cowee said the program helps provide broadband access in a community center setting in areas otherwise without high-speed internet.

According to USDA, funds can be used for:

• Construction, acquisition or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service.

• The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical community facilities for 2 years.

• Less than 10 percent of the grant amount, or up to $150,000, may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public.

Eligible applicants include most state and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits and for-profit corporations.

The deadline for applications is April 15. Go to https://bit.ly/2kxtT9K to learn more and to apply.