June 4, 2010
USDA’s Rural Business – Cooperative Service has issued a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Rural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program (RMAP). Published on Thursday June 3, in conjunction with the National Rural Summit, the NOFA announces the availability of $45.1 million in support for Microenterprise Development Organizations to provide loans and technical assistance and training to rural microentreprenuers and microenterprises. Interested applicants should contact their State’s USDA Rural Development Office for application forms and with questions. Contact info for each USDA Rural Development State Offices is included in the NOFA.
Microenterprise Development Organizations can apply for up to $500,000 in loans for micro-lending programs and for grants of up to $130,000 to provide technical assistance to borrowers and other microentreprenuers. Development Organizations must provide a 15% match for the technical assistance grants. Additional eligibility requirements can be found at 7 C.F.R. §4280.310 in the interim rule for the RMAP program released on May 28th.
Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis but awarded on a quarterly basis. To be considered for this quarter applications must be received by July 16, 2010. Applications for the next quarterly round for funds not obligated in the first quarter will be due on September 30, 2010. Applications will be reviewed, scored and ranked on the basis of criteria at 7 C.F.R. § 4280.316 which begins on page 30152 of the recently released interim rule for the RMAP program.