Rural Business Development Grants

SBA, USDA hosting webinar for rural businesses

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration Great Lakes Region and U.S. Department of Agriculture will co-host a free webinar about access to capital and resources for small businesses in rural Ohio 10-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16.

This event is a must for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the agriculture industry in search of information about SBA and USDA lending and small business growth programs.

The goal of this free event is to help improve access to capital for rural small businesses and increase investment opportunities in rural areas.

Featured Speakers:

  • Robert Scott, SBA – Robert Scott serves as the Regional Administrator for SBA’s Great Lakes Region, overseeing the delivery of the agency’s financial assistance, technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • David L. Hall, State Director for USDA Ohio Rural Development – David L. Hall is the State Director for USDA Ohio Rural Development. Appointed by the Trump Administration in November 2017, Hall brings more than two decades of expertise to the position, with work encompassing private, quasi-governmental, and public-sector service.
  • Leonard Hubert, State Executive Director, USDA FSA – Leonard Hubert was appointed by the Trump Administration to serve as the state executive director of the Ohio USDA Farm Service Agency in November 2017. Before relocating to Ohio, Hubert spent 15 years working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Bureau of Animal Industry, as chief of the Agriculture Marketing Service Division, and in the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

Additional presentations by:

  • Mark Van Hoose, FSA Ohio Farm Facility Loan Program
  • Randy Monhemius, USDA Ohio Business and Industry Program
  • Jerome Jones, SBA Columbus District Lender Relations Specialist

To register, visit

USDA Opportunities


The US Department of Agriculture offers many grant and loan programs for rural communities, like those in Seneca County. Listed below are several of those programs:

REAP Grants

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants are intended to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development for rural small for-profit businesses and agricultural producers. The grant will not exceed 25% of the total eligible project costs. Priority consideration will be given for requests of less than $20,000. Combined guaranteed loan and grant packages cannot exceed 75% of the total project costs. Applications for 2016 will be considered bi-annually; submissions accepted year-round.

REAP Loan Guarantee applications will be received on a continuous cycle basis and funded on the first business day of each month.

For more information, contact Christie Hooks at 614-255-2397 or

Rural Business Development Grants

USDA Rural Business Development Grants are competitive grants designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Local governments and nonprofits may apply. Grants range from $10,000 to $500,000. There are a variety of eligible activities: training and technical assistance, acquisition of land, pollution control, capitalization of revolving loan funds, distance adult learning, and other uses. Program activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity grant activities.

For more information, contact Cindy Musshel at 614-255-2427 or

Water and Wastewater Disposal Loans and Grants

Water and Wastewater Disposal Loans/Grants are direct loans and grants to build or improve essential public use facilities such as water and sewer facilities, storm sewers and solid waste facilities. Loans can be used for construction and non-construction costs including land, equipment, engineer services, legal services, capitalized interest, and initial operating funds.

Community Facility Loans and Grants

Community Facility (CF) Loans/Grants are administered through a USDA Rural Development program to develop community facilities for public use in rural areas and towns with populations of up to 20,000. Funds may not be used to construct, enlarge or improve facilities which provide essential services to rural residents and for non-construction costs including land, equipment, architectural services, legal services, capitalized interest and initial operating funds. Funds may not be used for commercial enterprises or recreational facilities.

For more information, contact Christopher Spellmire at 419-422-0242 or