Rural Innovation Stronger Economy


To help struggling communities by funding job accelerators in low-income rural communities by supporting jobs accelerator partnerships to improve the ability of distressed rural and energy communities to create high wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, and help rural communities identify and maximize local assets.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Section 6424
Public Law 115-34
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Rural Jobs Accelerator Partnerships comprised of key community and regional stakeholders formed after December 20, 2018 are eligible to apply. Partnership criteria and requirements may be found at 7 CFR 4284.1112.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications will only be accepted through Contents of a complete application package are available at 7 CFR 4284.1115
Award Procedure
The National Office will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements in 7 CFR part 4284, subpart L, this notice, and other applicable Federal regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation. Applications will be funded in rank order until the funding limitation has been reached. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency's discretion.
June 16, 2021 to August 2, 2021 Completed applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Monday August 2, 2021 through
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Agency decisions that are adverse to the individual participant are appealable, while matters of general applicability are not subject to appeal; however, such decisions are reviewable for appealability by the National Appeals Division (NAD). All appeals will be conducted by NAD and will be handled in accordance with 7 CFR part 11.
Grants may not be renewed. The Agency may approve requests to extend the grant period for up to an additional two-year period. Requests must be made and approvals granted in writing.
How are proposals selected?
RISE grant applications will be evaluated, assigned priority points as described in 7 CFR 4284.1117 and ranked from highest to lowest score for funding consideration, subject to the availability of funding.
How may assistance be used?
The applicant project outcome must accelerate the formation of new businesses with high-growth potential, improve the ability of rural businesses and distressed rural communities to create high-wage jobs, and strengthen rural regional economies. Eligible uses include the following costs incurred after a complete application has been received by the Agency: 1. Costs directly related to the purchase or construction of an innovation center 2) Costs directly related to operations of an innovation center including including purchase of equipment, office supplies, and administrative costs including salaries directly related to the project; (3) Costs directly associated with support programs to be carried out at or in direct partnership with job accelerators; (4) Reasonable and customary travel expenses directly related to job accelerators and at rates in compliance with 2 CFR 200.474; (5) Utility costs, operating expenses of the innovation center and job accelerator programs and associated programs
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Grantees shall submit a performance report semi-annually for the first two years, and then annually thereafter, with the first report submitted no later than six months after receiving a grant under this section. Contents of the performance reports may be found at 7 CFR 4284.1120
If applicable, grantees must provide an annual audit in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart F. The Agency may exercise its right to do a program audit after the end of the project to ensure that all funding supported eligible project costs.
The grantee will retain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to the grant for a period of at least three (3) years after completion of the grant period, except that the records must be retained beyond the 3-year period if audit findings have not been resolved or if directed by the United States. The Agency and the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their duly authorized representatives, must have access to any books, documents, papers, and records of the grantee that are pertinent to the specific grant for the purpose of making audit, examination, excerpts, and transcripts.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Public Law 115-334 Title VI, Subtitle D, Section 6424

Matching is mandatory. 20%. The Federal share of the cost of any activity carried out using a grant under this section shall not be greater than 80 percent.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funding decisions will be made by September 15, 2021. Funds must be used on approved projects within a 4- year timeframe. Funds request no more often than monthly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Contact the USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and ask any questions about the RISE program or application process. Contact information for State Offices can be found at
Headquarters Office
Will Dobson
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250 USA
Phone: 202-720-1400
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$2,000,000.00; FY 23 est $2,000,000.00; FY 24 est $2,000,000.00; FY 21$10,000,000.00; FY 20 -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$500,000 minimum; $2,000,000 maximum grant request
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 4284, Subpart L
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources