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Agriculture Innovation Center Grant Program

February 13th, 2020


The purpose of the Agriculture Innovation Center Grant Program is to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers that provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to engage in the marketing or the production of Value-Added products. This program supports Rural Development’s mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

Grants and matching funds may be used to operate an Agriculture Innovation Center and to provide the following services to agricultural producers:

  • Consulting services for legal, accounting and technical services to be used by the recipient in establishing and operating a Center
  • Hiring employees for the Center
  • Making of matching grants to agricultural producers
  • Applied research
  • Legal services
  • Technical assistance to agricultural producers, including engineering services, scale production assessments, market planning and development, business planning, and other advisory services

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include non-profit and for-profit corporations, public bodies, and institutions of higher education.

Available Funding

The program funding is $3.5 million, with a maximum grant amount of $1,000,000.

Matching Funds Requirement

Matching funds are required for at least one-third of the total project budget.

For more information on your business’s eligibility, contact us here

Rural Business Development Grant Program

December 16th, 2019


The Rural Business Development Grant Program is established by the state’s USDA Rural Development offices. The program is encompassed under two categories:

  1. Enterprise Grants: enterprise grants provide training and technical assistance.  These provide valuable resources on how to run a business;
  2. Opportunity Grants: opportunity grants seek out and identify business opportunities.


Entities that fall under the “rural” criteria are eligible. Eligibility can be checked using the USDA eligibility tool.

Available Funding

There is $35 million available in the rural business development grant program in 2019.

More information on the grant can be found here .

Alternatively, contact us today to see if your business is eligible.

Small Business Technology Transfer 

December 16th, 2019


The Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) explored opportunities within the federal R&D projects. This program requires a small business to work in partnership with a nonprofit research institution in Phase 1 and 2. The aim of this program is the unite the commercialization of innovation and the science and research behind it.

The STTR is a three-phased program:

  • Phase 1: Phase 1 is to establish the technical merit and to assess the compensation potential. The proposed R&D activity is assessed for it’s eligibility and performance of the small business prior to providing further financial assistance in Phase 2. Phase 1 normally does not exceed a total value of $150,000 in total over a 1 year period;
  • Phase 2: Phase 2 is an extension of Phase 1 and is awarded to encourage the project to develop further. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase 1. Only applicants eligible for Phase 1 are considered for Phase 2. The total award typically does not exceed $1,000,000 total over a 2 year period;
  • Phase 3: Phase 3 is not monetarily funded. The objective is where appropriate to pursue commercialization for eligible projects. Such activities may include seeking out federal production contraction, processes or uses by the US Government.


Small domestic businesses that engage in eligible federal research and development projects that may have commercialization value.

Available Funding 

The award for Phase 1 is up to $150,000 in total over a 6 months period for eligible applicants. The award for Phase 2 is up to $1,000,000 over a 2 year period. The dollar amounts for the awards are adjusted for inflation. More information is available on the STTR website.

For more information on your business’s eligibility, contact us here.

Small Business Innovation Research Program

December 16th, 2019


The Small Business Innovation Research Program aims to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in R&D activities that have the potential for commercialization. This program aims to promote scientific and technological innovation through incentives for eligible projects.

The program is structured in three phases:

  1. Phase 1 is to establish the technical merit, evaluate the feasibility of the project and commercial potential. The award for Phase 1 normally does not exceed $150,000 in total over a 6 months period;
  2. Phase 2 is to continue and develop the project in Phase 1 further. Funding depends on the success and results achieved in Phase 1. This award is only eligible for Phase 1 awardees. The total cost normally does not exceed $1,000,000 over a 2 year period;
  3. Phase 3 is to pursue the commercialization of a successful R&D project. There is no funding from the Small Business Innovation Research Program for Phase 3 however other federal agencies may have incentives.  Phase 3 may involve activities such as production contraction or subsequent follow-ups on the project developed in Phase 1 &2.


Small domestic businesses that engage in eligible federal research and development projects that may have commercialization value.

Available Funding

The award for Phase 1 is up to $150,000 in total over a 6 months period for eligible applicants. The award for Phase 2 is up to $1,000,000 over a 2 year period. The dollar amounts for the awards are adjusted for inflation. More information is available on the SBIR website.

For more information on your business’s eligibility, contact us here.

Rural Energy for America Program

December 16th, 2019


The Rural Energy for America Program is a program that incentivizes grants to producers within the agricultural and rural small businesses to invest and develop renewable energy systems.

This program aims at promoting a more efficient and sustainable operations targeted at farmers and ranchers that run small businesses.

The program offers two types of assistance:

  • Incentives and loans to eligible applicants for energy efficiency improvements and purchase of renewable energy systems (i.e. solar panels);
  • Incentives to service providers that work with farmers and small rural businesses for renewable energy planning and development.


To be eligible for this program applicants must:

  • Have at least 50% of their gross income derived from agricultural operations;
  • Be a small business in an eligible rural area

Eligible rural areas are considered:

  • An area outside of a city or town with a population of less than 50,000;
  • Agricultural producers can be from a rural or non- rural area;
  • Eligible business addresses can be checked here.

Available funding:

  • Loans up to 75% of the total cost of the eligible project;
  • Grants up to 25% of the total cost of the eligible project;
  • Combination of loan and grant of up to 75% od the total cost incurred by the eligible project.

To find out whether your business is eligible contact us here.


Federal Grants and Incentives

December 12th, 2019

Below are federal grants that are available. Please note your eligibility before submitting an application. Alternatively, you can search for grants here.

Grant Scam and Frauds

December 12th, 2019

Federal grants are distributed in order to fund relevant research and development activities. The majority of funds are used as intended within eligible activities however there is a small percentage that is misused in a deceitful way or abused. These types of behavior are considered fraudulent activities.

As part of the post-award phase, it is the applicant’s responsibility to carry out the goals and objectives as stated in the grant. Federal grant funds are subjected to certain regulations, oversight and audit.

The three main responsibilities of award recipients are:

  1. Recipients are stewards of federal grant funds;
  2. Funds must be used for the purpose stated in the application;
  3. Costs and expenditures must be justified by the recipient.

Applicants should also be aware of Grant Scams. Scam artists often prey on an individual’s access to grants buy applying a fee. There are no costs incurred for submitting an application. The lastest alerts on grant scams can be found here.

Fraudulent behavior is monitored and managed by Federal Inspectors General (IG) within each government agency. The uniformed goal of the IG is to stop the abuse of the system and to combat fraud. If there is suspected fraudulent activities, other government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force may further the investigation.

Grant Eligibility – Who can apply?

December 12th, 2019

All grants have different eligibility criteria and it is important to determine if you are eligible before committing time and money to the application process.

When determining eligibility, it is important to know what type of organization you represent or if you are applying for it as an individual. Each funding opportunity is different so it is important to understand what you are applying for. You can check your eligibility here. You can also search for grants here.

Some eligible participants may include but are not limited to:

  • Government Organizations – state government, county governments, city or township governments, special district governments and Native American tribal governments;
  • Education Organizations – universities,  independent school districts, public and state-controlled institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education;
  • Public housing Organizations;
  • Non – Profit Organizations – having or not having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS;
  • For-Profit Organizations – small businesses are not eligible.

It is important to understand that individuals and small businesses are generally not eligible for grants. Small business grants may be awarded to companies of a specific size based on the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Individuals must apply for opportunities open to individuals only on their own behalf (i.e. not on behalf of an organization, company or institution).

Foreign applicants may also apply for grants. Before applying foreign applications must review the most recent legislation and guidance for Aliens and International Taxpayers on the IRS website. Additional criteria may apply to foreign individuals.

Contact us for more information on grants and your eligibility.

How do grants work?

December 11th, 2019

A grant is a fund from that government to assist with the construction of your ideas and projects. A federal grant is one of the many ways the government can assist by distributing resources to eligible recipients. A guide to finding what grant may be suitable for you can be found here.

Federal grants are not offered to cover personal expenses or to start a business. Eligible recipients include:

  •  Local and state governments;
  • Universities;
  • Researchers;
  • and organization undertaking major projects that generate novel ideas to benefit society as a whole.

Most grant opportunities are targeted at organizations and not individuals.

Upon application for a grant, the grant follows a linear lifecycle. This includes three keys steps.

  1. Pre- Award Phase: the pre-award phase creates funding opportunities based on current legislation and budgets. Available grants are published in FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcements). It is now up to the application to register for suitable grants and submit an application.
  2. Award Phase: The award decisions are announced and applications are notified of the outcome. If successful the award agency looks into formatting a legal framework for the funding agreement. Once this step has been completed, the application receives a Notice of Award (NOA) and can commence work on suitable projects.
  3. Post- Award Phase: It is up to the recipient to ensure the grant received meets administrative, financial and reporting requirements. Post-award, the funding agency oversees the compliance and suitable use of the funds, and the application must provide reports on a regular basis. This is to ensure the integrity of the programme and funds are used correctly.

For more information on suitable grants and the grant process, contact us here.