The Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) is a competitive grant 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. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

The grant funds will be used primarily used to (i) design and construct a community cold storage facility to promote and assist the development of small and emerging food producers and food enterprises in historically underserved Tohono O’odham communities; (ii) purchase equipment necessary to operate and maintain the proposed community cold storage; (iii) provide outreach, public education, technical assistance and job related training in the areas, as such as, project planning, business counseling/training, market research, feasibility studies, business planning, professional/technical reports, project management and/or product/service improvements to promote the development of small and emerging local food businesses.

Project Goals

  1. Promote and assist the development of small and emerging food businesses, improve their economic viabiliy and estability:
    -Cold storage services
    -Direct technical assistance and business/job training;
  2. Create/save jobs and stimulate rural economic development;
  3. Increase the access to fresh and healthy food in Tohono O’odham Nation helping fight diabetes and other nutrition related diseases;
  4. Promote local food production and distribution, and improve rural community self-reliance;
  5. Increase the success rate of the small and emerging food businesses and ensure food safety among these food producers and food businesses enterprises.