WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities.

“These grants will support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities,” said USDA Rural Development Acting Deputy Undersecretary Roger Glendenning.

“The Rural Community Development Initiative Grant can assist rural Maine communities to be thriving and sustainable by helping them to build upon their strengths and identify community economic development opportunities that can lead to growth,” said USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Tommy R. Higgins. 

Qualified intermediary organizations receiving RCDI grants will provide technical assistance and training to help nonprofit organizations and communities develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities or economic development projects.

Applicants must have capacity-building experience for these types of projects and must provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000.

Eligible recipients are nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities or federally recognized tribes. RCDI grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals.

Examples of eligible projects include home ownership education, minority business entrepreneurship, strategic community planning or assistance to access alternative funding sources.

The deadline to submit paper applications is Tuesday, July 25. USDA Rural Development has an area office in Lewiston.

FMI, information: Robert Nadeau, community programs director, 990-9124, robert.nadeau@me.usda.gov, www.rd.usda.gov/me.

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