Economic Impact Initiative Grants
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)
Offers grant funds to rural communities experiencing severe employment and economic challenges to develop essential community facilities and services. An essential community facility is a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings. Funds can be used to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities related to healthcare, public safety, and public service to improve environmental conditions and increase economic and community development.
Examples of essential community facilities include:
- Healthcare facilities which includes hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities
- Public facilities such as city, town, or village halls, courthouses, airport hangars, or street improvements
- Community support services such as child care centers, community centers, fairgrounds, or transitional housing
- Public safety services including fire halls, police stations, prisons, jails, police vehicles, fire trucks, or public works vehicles and equipment
- Educational services such as schools, museums, or libraries
- Local food systems such as community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, food hubs, greenhouses, or kitchen appliances
- Utilities such as distance learning and telemedicine equipment
Priority is given to projects focused on public health and safety, energy efficiency, and education.
Amount of Funding
Grant awards are based on a graduated scale determined by population, median household income, total project expenses, and financial need. Generally, grant funds may not exceed 75% of eligible project costs.
Who Can Apply
Essential community facilities must be located in rural areas to be eligible. Under this funding opportunity, the criteria to be considered rural include:
- Cities, villages, townships, and towns, including federally recognized tribal lands, with populations at or below 20,000 residents that have a "Not Employed Rate" greater than 19.5%
- Median household income of a community being served must be below 90% of the state nonmetro median household income
Eligible applicants include:
- Public bodies
- Federally recognized tribes
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be unable to finance the project from their own resources and/or through commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms
- Facilities must serve a rural area where they are/will be located
- Demonstrate substantial community support
- Complete an acceptable environmental review
What This Program Funds
Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment
Application information, requirements, instructions, and forms are available on the program website.
Contact your local USDA Rural Development state office to discuss your specific project and start an application.
For program questions:
Contact the appropriate USDA Rural Development state office.
Topics This Program Addresses
Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Employment • Healthcare Facilities • Housing and Homelessness • Infrastructure • Justice System • Schools • Teleservices and Technology