U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 29, 2022
(a) General definitions. The following definitions apply to the terms used in this subpart.
Administrative expenses. Those expenses incurred by a Microenterprise Development Organization for the operation of services under this program. Not more than 10 percent of technical assistance grant funds may be used for such expenses.
Agency. USDA Rural Development, Rural Business-Cooperative Service or its successor organization.
Agricultural production. The cultivation, growing, or harvesting of plants and crops (including farming), breeding, raising, feeding, or housing of livestock (including ranching).
Applicant. The legal entity, also referred to as a Microenterprise Development Organization, submitting an application to participate in the program.
Application. The required forms and documentation submitted by a Microenterprise Development Organization for acceptance into the program.
Award. The written documentation, executed by the Agency after the application is approved, containing the terms and conditions for provision of financial assistance to the applicant. Financial assistance may constitute a loan or a grant, or both.
Business incubator. An organization that provides temporary premises at below market rates, technical assistance in developing business or marketing plans, technical services, use of equipment, or other facilities or services to rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises starting or growing a business. The business incubator may also provide access to capital through direct loans or referrals to loan programs.
Close relative. Individuals who live in the same household or who are closely related by blood, marriage, or adoption, such as a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, or first cousin.
Default. The condition that exists when a borrower is not in compliance with the promissory note, the loan and/or grant agreement, or other related documents evidencing the loan from the Agency or the Microenterprise Development Organization.
Delinquency. Failure by a Microenterprise Development Organization or microborrower to make a scheduled loan payment by the due date or within any grace period as stipulated in the promissory note and loan agreement.
Eligible project cost. The total cost of a microborrower's project for which a microloan is being sought from a microlender, less any costs identified as ineligible in § 4280.323.
Facilitation of access to capital. For purposes of this program, facilitation of access to capital means assisting a client of the technical assistance only grantee in obtaining a microloan, whether or not the microloan is wholly or partially capitalized by funds provided under this program.
Federal fiscal year (FY). The 12-month period beginning October 1 of any given year and ending on September 30 of the following year.
Full-time equivalent employee (FTE). The Agency uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics definition of full-time jobs as its standard definition. For purposes of this program, a full-time job is a job that has at least 35 hours in a work week. As such, one full-time job with at least 35 hours in a work week equals one FTE; two part-time jobs with combined hours of at least 35 hours in a work week equals one FTE, and three seasonal jobs equals one FTE. If an FTE calculation results in a fraction, it should be rounded up to the next whole number.
Indian tribe. Means the term as defined in 25 U.S.C. 5304(e).
Loan loss reserve fund (LLRF). A deposit account that each microlender must establish and maintain in an amount equal to not less than 5 percent of the total amount owed by the microlender under this program to the Agency. This account can be used to pay any shortage in the rural microloan revolving fund caused by delinquencies or losses on microloans.
Microborrower. A microentrepreneur or microenterprise that has received loans or financial assistance from a microlender under this program in an amount of $50,000 or less.
Microenterprise. Microenterprise means:
(i) A sole proprietorship located in a rural area, as defined; or
(ii) A business entity located in a rural area, as defined, with not more than 10 full-time-equivalent employees. Such businesses may include any type of legal business that meets local standards of decency, though certain business types may be ineligible as defined in § 4280.323 Business types may also include agricultural producers provided they meet the stipulations in this definition.
Microenterprise development organization (MDO). A domestic organization that is a non-profit entity; an Indian tribe; or a public institution of higher education with loan or assistance programs for the benefit of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. An MDO will:
(i) Provide training and technical assistance;
(ii) Make microloans or facilitate access to capital or other related services; and
(iii) Have a demonstrated record of delivering services to rural microentrepreneurs, or an effective plan to develop a program to deliver services to rural microentrepreneurs.
Microentrepreneur. An owner and operator, or prospective owner and operator, of a rural microenterprise who is unable to obtain sufficient training, technical assistance, or credit other than under this section. All microentrepreneurs assisted under this regulation must be located in rural areas.
Microlender. An MDO that has been approved by the Agency for participation under this subpart to make microloans and provide an integrated program of training and technical assistance to its microborrowers and prospective microborrowers.
Microloan. A business loan of not more than $50,000 for eligible purposes to a microborrower with a fixed interest rate and a term not to exceed 10 years.
Military personnel. Individuals, regardless of rank or grade, currently in active United States military service with less than 6 months remaining in their active duty service requirement.
Nonprofit entity. An entity chartered as a nonprofit entity under State or Tribal Law.
Program. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).
Rural Microloan Revolving Fund (RMRF). An exclusive account on which the Agency will hold a first lien and from which microloans will be made by the MDO. All payments from microborrowers and reimbursements from the LLRF will be deposited into the RMRF account. Loan payments will be made to the Agency by the microlender from the RMRF.
Rural or rural area. Any area of a State not in a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, not in the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, and excluding certain populations pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(H) and (I). In making this determination, the Agency will use the latest decennial census of the United States. The following exclusions apply:
(i) Any area in the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants that is attached to the urbanized area of a city or town with more than 50,000 inhabitants by a contiguous area of urbanized census blocks that is not more than two census blocks wide. Applicants from such an area should work with their Rural Development State Office to request a determination of whether their project is located in a rural area under this provision.
(ii) For the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the island is considered Rural and eligible except for the San Juan Census Designated Place (CDP) and any other CDP with greater than 50,000 inhabitants. Areas within CDPs with greater than 50,000 inhabitants, other than the San Juan CDP, may be determined to be rural if they are “not urban in character.”
(iii) For the State of Hawaii, all areas within the State are considered rural and eligible except for the Honolulu CDP within the County of Honolulu and any other CDP with greater than 50,000 inhabitants. Areas within CDPs with greater than 50,000 inhabitants, other than the Honolulu CDP, may be determined to be rural if they are “not urban in character.”
(iv) For the purpose of defining a rural area in the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Agency shall determine what constitutes rural and rural area based on available population data.
State. Any of the 50 States of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Technical assistance (TA) and training. A function performed for the benefit of a private business enterprise or a community which is a problem-solving activity such as market research, product and/or service improvement, feasibility study, worker training programs, etc., to assist in the economic development of a rural area.
Technical assistance grant. A grant from the Agency, the funds of which are used to provide TA and training.
(b) Abbreviations. The following abbreviations apply to the terms used in this subpart.
FTE - Full-time employee.
FY - Fiscal year.
LLRF - Loan loss reserve fund.
MDO - Microenterprise Development Organization.
RMAP - Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.
RMRF - Rural microloan revolving fund.
TA - Technical assistance.