U.S. Department of Agriculture: Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant
The purpose of the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) is to provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. A socially disadvantaged group is defined as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Proposed projects must only serve members of socially disadvantaged groups located in rural areas.
Grants must be used to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are:
- Feasibility studies
- Business plans
- Strategic planning
- Leadership training
Note that the cooperative or center can be located in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area.
Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that will advance the following:
- Assisting Rural communities recover economically from the impacts of the COVID–19 pandemic, particularly disadvantaged communities;
- Ensuring all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development (RD) programs and benefits from RD funded projects; and
- Reducing climate pollution and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.
Note: Applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the grantor, as long as such requests are made prior to May 16, 2022.
Amount: Awards of up to $175,000 for a one-year period will be made.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include cooperative development centers, individual cooperatives, or groups of cooperatives (i) that serve socially disadvantaged groups and (ii) of which a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially disadvantaged groups.
- A Cooperative is defined as—A business or organization that is owned and operated for the benefit of its members, with returns of residual earnings paid to such members on the basis of patronage. Eligible cooperatives for the SDGG program are those where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially disadvantaged groups.
- A Cooperative development center is defined as—A nonprofit corporation or institution of higher education operated by the grantee for cooperative or business development. An eligible cooperative development center for the SDGG program is one where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of socially disadvantaged groups. It may or may not be an independent legal entity separate from the grantee.
Federally recognized tribes have a government-to-government relationship with the United States. Therefore, tribes may consider using a separate entity, such as a tribally owned business, tribal authority, tribal non profit, tribal college or university to apply for SDGG funding that would provide technical assistance to members of the tribe. This separate tribal entity must also demonstrate that it meets all definition requirements for one of the three eligible applicant types as defined above.
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