MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for projects that help support the economic development of rural West Virginia.

Applicants can submit a project, which, if accepted, will be funded through the Rural Business Development Grant program.

According to a release from the USDA, accepted projects include business opportunity projects, which “must be consistent with local and area-wide community and economic development strategic plans. Projects must also support other economic development activities in the project area.”

There are also enterprise projects, which include “the repair or modernization of buildings, technical assistance such as feasibility studies or business plans, or equipment purchases for leasing to small or emerging businesses.”

Persistent poverty as well as Strategic Economic and Community Development project set-aside funds “must demonstrate that 100% of the benefits of an approved grant will assist beneficiaries in the designated areas.”

Eligible entities include rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, federally recognized Tribes, public institutions of higher education and nonprofit cooperatives.

Grants applications must be submitted to the USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Office by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, either on paper or digitally.

For additional information, visit Grants.gov or see page 71571 of the Nov. 23, 2022, Federal Register. You can also learn more by visiting the USDA’s Rural Development page.