United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Karama Neal unveiled a new grant program to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields.
Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) is intended to help rural communities identify and maximize local assets and connect to networks and industry clusters within their region.
The new grant encourages a regional, innovation-driven approach to economic development.
“USDA is innovating the way we do business,” Neal said. “The RISE program ensures that critical funding supports long-term and sustainable economic growth in the rural communities and regions that need it most.”
RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas.
The funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, and support economic growth in the rural areas of their region.
Funding may also be used to establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships, such as integrating rural businesses into new supply chains, providing workforce training and identifying community assets.
To help ensure long-term and sustainable community and economic development, award recipients must support projects for at least four years.
Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development State Office ahead of the application deadline for more information about the program or the application process.
Applications are now being accepted electronically at Grants.gov.
Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 2, 2021.
Information about the application process is available in a notice in the Federal Register (PDF, 276 KB).
For additional information about the program, see the final rule on page 31585 of the June 15 Federal Register (PDF, 377 KB).
USDA is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to help stakeholders and potential applicants learn more about this funding opportunity. To register, please visit: attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9046642451030677262.