A critical economic development program that provides financial assistance for rural entrepreneurs and small business owners is available to Ohioans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) provides loans and grants to local organizations that re-loan money from USDA to small business owners and entrepreneurs in rural communities.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurs play an important role in the local economies of Ohio’s rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said. “This funding gives Ohio’s economic development organizations resources to continue providing valuable assistance to create and sustain jobs throughout our state.”
RMAP funding may be used to provide fixed interest rate microloans to rural microentrepreneurs for startup and growing microenterprises. Some examples of eligible projects are:
• Working capital
• Purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, inventory or equipment
• Debt refinancing
• Business acquisitions
• Purchase or lease of real estate that is already improved and will be used for the location of the subject business only (construction of any type is strictly prohibited)
Technical Assistance Grants (provision of education, guidance, or instruction to one or more rural microentrepreneurs):
• prepare them for self-employment;
• improve the state of their existing rural microenterprises;
• increase their capacity in a specific technical aspect of the subject business;
• and assist a rural microentrepreneur in achieving a degree of business preparedness and/or functions that will allow them to obtain or have the ability to obtain business loans independently.