Rural Gateway Programs and Funding Opportunities

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2021/2022 Funding Opportunities

ARC Community Capacity Building Pilot

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) invites proposals from qualified organizations to design and execute a program titled “Community Capacity-Building Pilot” to help Local Development Districts (LDDs) and local elected officials strategically deploy American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Local Fiscal Recovery dollars for their respective communities. The program aims to position Appalachian communities for long-term success in managing projects that meet the greatest needs and enhance economic growth. Proposals are due by 5:00 PM EDT, August 27, 2021 and should be submitted as one PDF or Word document to ARPAtrainingforums@arc.gov.

USDA American Rescue Plan Act Track Two: Impact Grants

Track Two: Impact Grant funds must be used in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and to advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health care. Long-term sustainability is defined as “improved health outcomes, improved access to quality health care, and creating and maintaining sustainable economic development for small communities.” Grants range from $5 million - $10 million. Grant funds are limited to an applicable percentage of eligible project costs (up to 75 percent) based on population and the median household income of the population served. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates providing up to $125 million in Track Two: Impact funding. Track Two: Impact applications must be received by the applicable Rural Development Office by 4 PM local time on October 12, 2021. Track Two: Impact applications received after October 12, 2021 will not be considered.

USDA American Rescue Plan Act Track One: Recovery Grants

Track One: Recovery funds must be used in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic and to support immediate health care needs, help prepare for a future pandemic event, increase access to quality health care services, or support food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. Grants range from $25,000 - $1 million. Grant funds are limited to an applicable percentage of eligible project costs (up to 75 percent) based on population and the median household income of the population served. USDA anticipates providing about $350 million in Track One: Recovery funding. USDA will continue to accept applications on a continual basis after October 12, 2021 until all funds are exhausted.

Build Back Better Regional Challenge

The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more. Phase 1 deadline: October 19, 2021.

Good Jobs Challenge

Through the Good Jobs Challenge, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is allocating $500 million to collaborative skills training systems and programs. EDA encourages efforts to reach historically underserved populations and areas, communities of color, women, and other groups facing labor market barriers. These systems and partnerships will create and implement industry-led training programs, designed to provide skills for and connect unemployed or underemployed workers to existing and emerging job opportunities. Application deadline: January 26, 2022.

Indigenous Communities

Through the Indigenous Communities program, EDA is allocating $100 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support the needs of Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities, which were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. EDA will support these important partners to develop and execute economic development projects that they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Suggested application submission date: March 15, 2022.

Travel/Tourism/Outdoor Recreation

Through the Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, EDA is focused on accelerating the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds are allocated to support state tourism grants and competitive grants. State Tourism Grants: Application due 60 days after receiving invitation. Competitive Tourism Grants: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Suggested application submission date: March 15, 2022.

Economic Adjustment Assistance

EDA’s ARP Economic Adjustment Assistance program makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. Grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Suggested application submission date: March 15, 2022.

Statewide Planning, Research and Networks

Building back better means investing in projects that will promote equity and develop local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks and climate change. Through the Statewide Planning, Research & Networks program, EDA is supporting states in planning efforts by allocating $59 million for Statewide Planning Grants. Application due 45 days after receiving invitation.

Coal Communities

EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of its $3 billion ARP appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA will dedicate $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) funds to directly support coal communities.

Dept. of Agriculture - Rural Development

USDA Rural Development is making the grants available under the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. Eligible applicants are organizations seeking to provide rural communities with training and technical assistance to improve transportation services and facilities. USDA does not provide funding directly to individuals under this program. Applications will be scored, reviewed, and selected on a competitive basis. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Dept. of Agriculture - Rural Development - Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans & Loan Guarantees

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans & Loan Guarantees. This program offers financial assistance to eligible service providers that will construct, improve, or expand telecommunication and broadband networks in rural areas. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.