The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it has set aside between 5% and 10% of funds in multiple program areas to support Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) for regional development and community development plans.
Applicants and projects must be eligible for the underlying programs (Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loans, Grants; Water and Waste Disposal Program Direct, Guaranteed Loans, Grants; Business and Industry Guaranteed loans; Rural Business Development Grants) and be located in a rural area, and support the implementation of a strategic economic development or community investment plan on a multi-jurisdictional basis. For the purposes of the SECD Section 6025 program, that means at least two jurisdictions have worked together to complete community development or strategic planning activities.
USDA encourages applications that will support regional community development through infrastructure and utility system improvements, business development and business financing programs. For more information contact Tim O’Connell by phone at (202) 768-0587 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
To apply for the funding, applicants must meet underlying program requirements and submit the Form RD 1980-88 with the underlying program application to the nearest USDA office. Program funds available under SECD expire on June 30, 2020. Additional information is available on page 11947 of the Feb. 28, 2020, Federal Register. A Fact Sheet is also available on line at https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fact-sheet/508_RD_FS_SECD.pdf
Interested parties can learn more about this opportunity through a recorded webinar at https://globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1280242&tp_key=afc1a74d59.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) to help improve the quality of life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation.
Key strategies include:
- Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
- Developing the Rural Economy
- Harnessing Technological Innovation
- Supporting a Rural Workforce
- Improving Quality of Life