Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) funding is authorized through a Farm Bill provision that supports regional economic and community development planning.
SECD supports projects that promote and implement strategic community investment plans. These plans use the unique strengths of rural communities to advance prosperity. USDA Rural Development helps finance these projects to build community prosperity by using community assets, identifying resources, convening partners and leveraging federal, state, local or private funding.
What is the Application Process
To apply, applicants must meet covered program requirements and submit the Form RD 1980-88 to the nearest USDA office. Applicants who are applying for SECD funding through a loan guarantee program may submit forms under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative application guidelines.
Community Connect applicants must submit SECD applications electronically at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/community-connect
Who may apply for this program?
To be eligible for SECD, a project must:
- Be eligible for the covered program
- Be carried out in a rural area
- Support a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral strategic community investment plan
Consideration will be based on:
(1) How well the project supports a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral plan, and
(2) Whether the plan contains evidence of collaboration among multiple stakeholders; leverages applicable regional resources, monetary and non-monetary investments from strategic partners, including private and philanthropic organizations and government entities; and includes clear objectives with measurable performance metrics and actions steps for implementation. Interested participants are encouraged to have their plans reviewed by their state’s staff early in the process for feedback and possible modification prior to submitting the formal application.
Covered Rural Development Programs
Priority may be given to applications submitted through the following programs:
- Community Connect Grants
- Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program;
- Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program;
- Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program;
- Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees;
- Rural Business Development Grants
For More Information
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.