The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities.
“These grants will support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities,” USDA Rural Development Acting Deputy Undersecretary Roger Glendenning said.
USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins said, “The Rural Community Development Initiative Grant can assist rural Maine communities to be thriving and sustainable by helping them to build upon their strengths and identify community economic development opportunities that can lead to growth.”
Qualified intermediary organizations receiving RCDI grants will provide technical assistance and training to help nonprofit organizations and communities develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities or economic development projects. Applicants must have capacity-building experience for these types of projects and must provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.
Eligible recipients are nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities or federally recognized tribes. RCDI grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals.
Examples of eligible projects include homeownership education, minority business entrepreneurship, strategic community planning or assistance to access alternative funding sources. In Maine, Rural Development provided the Island Institute with a RCDI Grant in the amount of $143,350 to provide Fellows to work in the rural Maine island communities of Vinalhaven, Frenchboro, and Eastport to help develop programs to advance education, planning, and the creative economy.
For more information on how to apply, see page 24281 of the May 26 Federal Register. The deadline to submit paper applications is July 25, 2017.
For questions or more information on how to apply, please contact Robert Nadeau, Community Programs Director at 990-9124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 54 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.