In the new year, there’s a great chance for rural communities to secure new funding for revitalization projects.
This is called America’s Best Communities. And it’s dedicating $10 million to support innovation and growth in 50 rural communities over three years.It’s a new contest that aims to revitalize rural communities across the country by identifying and investing in new and innovative ideas to strengthen rural America. The competition is calling on rural communities – local government officials, area farmers, small business owners, community leaders – to come together to develop economic revitalization strategies that could potentially win a share of $10 million in prize money. It provides an incentive to encourage strategic planning to generate sustained economic momentum in rural America. Essentially, it’s about ensuring rural life and family farming remain a strong and viable option for generations to come.
The deadline for applications is March 25, 2015, and on April 29, 2015, the 50 quarter-finalist communities will be announced. They will receive $35,000 each to more fully develop the community revitalization ideas they proposed in their applications, and prepare strong, comprehensive strategies to submit for the larger prizes later on in the contest.
The eight finalists receive $100,000 each to begin to bring their plans to life, and the grand prize winners will be awarded $3 million for the top community, $2 million for second place and $1 million for third. The remaining $4 million will be distributed among 50 communities that will receive seed funding and other support to develop local economic revitalization strategies.
America’s Best Communities is sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank, as a new effort to provide promising rural towns with the resources they need to improve their economies and revive the American Dream.
Please encourage your local community leaders to consider this opportunity. Rural America can thrive more than ever before because of the people in them.
More detailed information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at www.americasbestcommunities.com.