In our post about the Rural Community Development Initiative we described several ways in which the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development assists communities with vital resources. Today we bring you three more grants exclusively for rural areas.
Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants
Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants are being made available from USDA Rural Assistance so communities can improve water quality and waste-treatment facilities, contribute to a cleaner environment and attract businesses to their areas. Funds from the grant may be used to identify solutions to water and waste disposal issues, assist with the applications for programs offered at the state level, and improve operations at existing water and waste-disposal facilities.
Selected 2016 Grantees
- The Alaska Forum on the Environment – provides technical assistance to ten rural Alaskan communities who wish to participate in Alaska’s Green Star Program (environmentally friendly certification). The assistance includes training in landfill management and operation, hazardous household waste reduction, water quality and watershed basics.
- Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona – will establish a tribal capacity development program for technical assistance, training and regulatory updates.Tribal operator certification training and exams, workshops on water utility workforce retention and safety awareness will also be offered.
- National Rural Water Association (OK) – helps small, rural communities in 19 states with energy efficiency. The US EPA estimates that water and waste water systems use 3% of national energy consumption. Costs can be amplified for small systems that cover more land than the larger systems in more densely populated areas.The NRWA will help advise these communities on ways to help their water systems become more energy efficient.
Eligible applicants are academic institutions, nonprofits and tribal organizations that have a successful track record of providing technical assistance and/or training to rural communities. A eligible area has 10,000 or fewer people. Refer to the application page for a complete list of requirements. The deadline in December 31, 2016.
Rural Business Development Grants
The USDA provides business development grants to provide technical assistance and training to help small businesses and nonprofits in rural areas. Organizations should have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Among the ways funds may be used include:
- Training and technical assistance
- Pollution control
- Loan funds for start-ups and working capital
- Distance learning and job training
- Transportation improvement
- Community and technology based economic development
- Long term business strategic planning
- Applying for a USDA Rural Business Development Grant
Towns, communities, Native American tribes, state agencies, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education and rural cooperatives may apply. Check your area’s rural eligibility. Applications are accepted through USDA Rural Development’s local and state offices which have their own deadlines. See resource page for further information.
The Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Grant
This new program from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, WebJunction and The Association for Rural & Small Libraries will help 15 small and rural public libraries transform themselves into smart spaces. Libraries will consult with patrons on how best to utilize space to enhance their function as dynamic places of learning. It will also prepare them to better adapt to ever changing community needs. Both monetary awards and online training and support will be provided. The results will be shared with the wider library community.
Public libraries serving rural or remote communities fewer than 25,000 people are eligible. Apply by 5 pm on Friday, October 21, 2016