Chamber Notes

Links & info for Rural area grants

I’ve gotten some great information from the USDA Rural Development office for grant etc.  Not *too* many locations in our service area meet the criteria for “rural” but there is a link and will help you.  They are very responsive if you are wondering if you area/address/project meet the criteria.

Their number:  Rural Development at (715) 345-7610

First:  Here is a webinar and teleconference on applying for Rural Energy for America Program (a grant) is:

You are invited to an U.S.D.A. Rural Development webinar and teleconference on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

Date:  December 8, 2009

Time:  9:00-12:00 a.m. CST

If you plan to join the webinar and teleconference, please contact them at judy.clendenning@wi.usda.gov

THE GRANT PROGRAM ITSELF:

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption in order to meet the nation’s critical energy needs.

Rural Development (RD) is accepting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year 2010.  The REAP program continues to be a competitive grant and guaranteed loan program, one of the key factors in getting an application funded is getting it submitted early. The following paragraphs describe what happened in 2009, and what to expect in 2010:

2009 EXPERIENCE:

Wisconsin had 70 applications submitted, of which 34 were funded.  Approximately 1,800 applications were received at the national office, of which 1,290 were funded.  The national office pool of funds was exhausted before all applications could be funded nationwide.

Last year’s priority of funding applications was as follows:

  1. Grant requests of $20,000 or less competed for $12 million which was 20% of the $60 million available.  Nationwide 93 applications were not funded.
  2. Guaranteed Loan only requests, nationwide RD funded 2 projects.
  3. Grant and Guaranteed Loan Combination requests, nationwide 47 applications were not funded.
  4. Grant requests of $21,000 or greater, nationwide 0 were funded.  Funds were exhausted at the national office level before they could reach this 4th priority level.

In addition to last year’s funding priorities, the program had internal dates to request funding from the national office reserve.  The federal register was announced on May 26, 2009, and funds were first made available on June 15, 2009.   Applications were submitted to the national office on the 15th and last day of each month up to August 30, 2009 for funding consideration.  In 2009 the applications that were funded were submitted early on in the process.

2010 EXPECTATIONS:

The federal register will be announced sometime in the 2010 fiscal year.  Since the programs inception there have been minor changes in the program.  Funding priority will be given to small grants of $20,000 or less, and combination guaranteed loan and grant requests.

RD is expecting a larger allocation of funds being allocated to our state office vs. the national office reserve.  This initiative will provide an equitable distribution of funds per state.

Another change will be the program receiving approximately $100 million in funding, an increase over the previous years funding level.

the application materials can be found at their website:  http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi/programs/rbs/energy.htm

Other Grants:

This link:  http://energyindependence.wi.gov/docview.asp?docid=12683&locid=160 is a comprehensive summary of energy grant/loan programs.

Good luck!!

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