From our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development. Emphasis on entrepreneurship and community development this week!
A growing number of large, national foundations are making "big bets" on structural solutions to complex problems in an effort to bring about lasting social change, the New York Times reports. Earlier this year, for example, the Ford Foundation announced that it was refocusing its grantmaking — about $500 million annually — on inequality in all its forms, while the Rockefeller and MacArthur foundations announced that they are redoubling their commitments in the areas of climate change, urban resilience, and criminal justice reform. Philanthropic organizations have long supported efforts to alleviate poverty and inequities, of course, but many of the largest increasingly are seeking to address not just the symptoms but the structural causes of those problems — inspired, in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's efforts to not only treat or prevent diseases such as polio and malaria but to eradicate them altogether, the Times suggests.
Despite the important role that small- and medium-sized businesses play in job creation and economic growth, economic development incentives are consistently awarded to large companies, according to a report by Good Jobs First with support from both the Surdna Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In an analysis of more than 4,200 economic development incentive awards from 16 programs across 14 states, large companies received anywhere between 80 percent and 96 percent of total dollar values. Read more...
Rural school districts and those in the Southwest reported largest lunch price increases
Paid-lunch prices rose by an average of 6.8 percent for school districts in the Southwest and 4.8 percent in the Mid-Atlantic between school years 2010-11 and 2011-12, according to ERS calculations using data from a USDA-sponsored study. Rural school districts reported an average increase of 4.7 percent in paid-lunch prices compared to an increase of 3.4 percent for city districts. Areas with higher price increases may experience greater reductions in paid-lunch participation since research shows that some families cut back on school lunch purchases when lunch prices rise. This chart appears in “A Look at What’s Driving Lower Purchases of School Lunches” in the October 2015 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.
Enabling Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
This report from the Kauffman Foundation is a valuable read for anyone interested in growing an entrepreneurial economy.
Becoming "the place" for local food firms
Read how one Iowa town is building an economy around the local food and farm sector as a way to attract young people and entrepreneurs.
KCSourceLink Shares their Story.
Another great example of an annual report that effectively communicates the outcomes of entrepreneurial efforts. Check out their focus on measuring results!
Ten Principles for Responsible Tourism.
This article from UrbanLand magazine is a must read for any community interested in improving their tourism development game plan.
On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) into law with the intent of helping small businesses and startups raise capital through several changes to long-standing securities regulations, including a change that would allow companies to raise equity from both accredited and non-accredited investors through a publicly solicited crowdfunding campaign (Title III of the Jobs Act). However, it took over three years for the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to finally adopt the rules that will permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. The new rules also include amendments to existing Securities Act rules to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings. The new crowdfunding rules and forms will be effective 180 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The forms enabling funding portals to register with the Commission will be effective January 29, 2016. Read the Press Release.
The White House Reports that the Administration has announced over $14 million for partnerships in 12 states intended to leverage a range of economic development programs to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry.
The US EPA announced a new request for proposals for FY16 brownfield assessment, revolving loan fund, and clean up grant guidelines. The proposal submission deadline is December 18, 2015.
Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities: CIRD Issues Request for Proposals
The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 11:00 PM EST. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017. Register for the Pre-Application Conference Calls. Read the full Request for Proposals.
Training to Work 3 – Adult Reentry Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor announces the availability of approximately $20 million in grant funds authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Second Chance Act of 2007 for Training to Work 3 – Adult Reentry.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides the opportunity for organizations to develop and implement career pathways programs in demand sectors and occupations for men and women, including veterans, and people with disabilities, who are at least 18 years old and who are enrolled in work release programs (WRP). Additionally, grantees must provide a strategy to prioritize services to veterans that are in these WRPs. Career pathways are frameworks that help to define and map out a sequence of education, training and workforce skills training resulting in skilled workers that meet employers’ needs. Career pathways link and coordinate education and training services in ways that enable workers to attain necessary credentials and, ultimately, employment. T2W3 is aligned with the Department’s goal to make our Federal employment and training programs more job-driven.
Priority Consideration Points: As a participant in the Promise Zone Initiative, DOL is cooperating with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, and nine (9) other federal agencies to support comprehensive revitalization efforts in 20 of the highest poverty urban, rural and tribal communities across the country. Applicants that submit a certification (HUD Form 50153) signed by an authorized representative of the lead organization of a Promise Zone designated by HUD or the Department of Agriculture supporting the application will receive 2 priority consideration points. To view the list of designated Promise Zones and lead organizations, please visit the Promise Zones web page. Please refer to page 2 of the NOFA for more information.
Deadline: January 15, 2016
Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announces the availability of approximately $1.75 million for the Juvenile Re-entry Assistance Program (JRAP) to support successful transition to the community by reducing barriers to public housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities.
This NOFA provides funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) who have established a partnership with a legal aid organization, university legal center, public defender's office, or other legal service organization that is a non-profit and has experience providing legal services to juveniles (including expungement and/or sealing the juvenile and/or adult criminal records) for 1) current public housing resident youth up to 24 years old who have a criminal record and/or 2) former household members (who are youth up to 24 years old) of current public housing residents who, but for their criminal record, would be living in public housing. These services must be in accordance with state law.
Bonus Points: In support of certain inter-agency initiatives, HUD awards bonus points to projects where the preponderance of work will occur in a designated zone, community or region. These points will be awarded only if the application otherwise meets or exceeds the Program's minimum fundable score based on the rating factors of this NOFA.
HUD encourages activities in communities with Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS) and/or Promise Zones (PZ), HUD will award two (2) points for qualified activities within a designated zone or area and supporting either or both initiative(s). In no case will HUD award more than two bonus points for these activities.
To receive Promise Zones Bonus Points, applicants must submit form HUD 50153, Certification of Consistency with Promise Zone Goals and Implementation, signed by the Promise Zone Official authorized to certify the project meets the criteria to receive bonus points. To view the list of designated Promise Zones and persons authorized to certify, please go to the Promise Zones website. Please refer to page 17 of the NOFA for more information.
Deadline: January 4, 2016
2015 Self-Help Homeownership (SHOP) Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announces the availability of $9,977,500 of FY2015 Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) grant funds. SHOP funding is intended to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities on a national and geographically-diverse basis. The program supports self-help housing programs that require a significant amount of sweat equity by the homebuyer toward the construction or rehabilitation of his or her home. Volunteer labor is also required.
Eligible applicants for SHOP funding include national and regional non-profit organizations and consortia with experience facilitating homeownership opportunities on a national, geographically-diverse basis through the provision of self-help homeownership housing programs. Applicants must propose to use a significant amount of SHOP grant funds in at least two states and may award SHOP grant funds to local non-profit affiliate organizations to carry out the Grantee's SHOP program. These affiliate organizations must be located within the Grantee's service area. Individuals are not eligible to apply for SHOP grant funds.
SHOP units must be decent, safe, and sanitary non-luxury dwellings that comply with state and local codes, ordinances, and zoning requirements, and with all other SHOP requirements, including but not limited to, the requirements for energy-efficiency, water conservation and accessibility. The SHOP units must be sold to homebuyers at prices below the prevailing market price.
Deadline Date: January 4, 2016
“Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact” Training Webinar
The “Is a CDFI Credit Union Right for Your Native Community?” webinar will be held on November 19, 2015. Participants will learn what makes a credit union unique and hear about key considerations to assist with their decision making process. The webinar will provide an overview of the start-up process, focusing on common challenges, resources, and how a credit union might impact the operations of an existing CDFI loan fund serving the Native community. Throughout the webinar, representatives from two Native credit unions – Lakota Federal Credit Union and Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union – will share their experiences and perspectives. Representatives of the National Credit Union Administration will also be available to assist with questions. The webinar is free and open to the general public, but advanced registration is required to access the presentation. Registration may be completed up until the start time listed for the session. Click here to register.
To learn more about “Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact” series and the other training series available under the Capacity Building Initiative, please visit www.cdfifund.gov/cbi.
On Friday, November 6, at 10:00 A.M. ET, the Economic Development Administration will host a conference call for economic development organizations that are interested in participating in Hannover Messe 2016 – the world’s largest trade show for industrial goods, technology, and R&D. The conference call agenda includes information on U.S. Industry Pavilions for SMES/Export Services; the show’s Research & Technology Pavilion; and, a Q&A with SelectUSA, U.S. Export Assistance Centers, Deutsche Messe AG, and Hannover Fairs USA. To register, please e-mail Micah Escobedo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This prerecorded webinar gives an overview of the groundbreaking grant program, The Sustainable Communities Initiative. The webinar will touch upon the lessons learned from this program and highlights from locally-led collaborative efforts that brought together diverse interests from the many municipalities in a region to determine how best to target housing, economic and workforce development, and infrastructure investments to create more jobs and regional economic activity. This webinar also explores how the SCI grantees developed the Six Livability Principles into strategies that direct long-term development and reinvestment and used data to set and monitor progress towards performance goals.
Did you know that donors are three times more likely to give when asked by a friend? Peer-to-peer fundraising is an easy and affordable way to extend your reach, acquire more new donors, and raise more money through the networks of your supporters.
The Affordable Care Act 101 Webinar Series
Find out how to navigate the opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series. Registration is free, but required.
The webinar takes place every other Thursday at 2 PM ET.
- Thursday, November 12: Click to Register
- Thursday, December 3: Click to Register
- Thursday, December 10: Click to Register
The Affordable Care Act 101 in Spanish takes place once monthly on Tuesdays at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.
For more information on what the health care law means for small businesses, check out www.sba.gov/healthcare.
As reported by WVU Today, WV BAD Buildings Program has launched their website and toolkit. The BAD Buildings toolkit is an invaluable resource designed specifically for West Virginia communities to help them address the issue of blighted, abandoned, and dilapidated properties.
Sauk County, Wisconsin is linking local culture and the arts with the unique attributes of the community to grow the economy. According to Star Tribune, Sauk County is one of only three counties in the state, and the only rural county that has a public arts funding program.
New from BALLE.
A strong entrepreneurial ecosystem includes supportive policy as well as direct assistance to entrepreneurs. Check out BALLE's Local Policy Toolkit for policy ideas to better support small businesses and an economy that works for all.
23 entrepreneurs share their lessons learned.
Check out this blog and share it with entrepreneurs in your community.
Rural Gateway Peer-To-Peer Conference Call
A Discussion of the Border Community Capital Initiative
Date and Time: November 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST
Sponsor: Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development
Join us on November 17, 2015 for a Peer-to-Peer conference call to discuss the Border Capital Community Initiative. The Border Community Capital Initiative (BCCI) is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (USDA-RD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) designed to increase access to capital in the U.S./Mexico border region which includes some of the poorest communities in the country. Specifically, it provides direct investment and technical assistance to community development lending and investing institutions that focus on affordable housing, small business and community facilities to benefit the residents of colonias. In 2014, HUD awarded $2 million to boost job growth and business opportunities along the U.S. - Mexico border. During the peer to peer conference call, participants will have an opportunity to hear from the grantees: Accion Texas; Affordable Homes of South Texas; Community Resource Group, Inc.; Tierra Del Sol Housing Corporation; and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance.
Participants will learn more about:
- The Border Community Capital Initiative (BCCI) General Overview
- FY 2013 Funded BCCI projects
- The types of activities implemented
- Expected performance outcomes
- Public and Private sources of funding to carry out projects
- Project challenges
- Best practices and lessons-learned
Please RSVP by email to email@example.com no later than 10 AM EST on November 13, 2015. Please include your name, organization, city, and state. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation.
CDFI Funding for CED and CED-HFFI Projects Webinar
The recording and materials for the CDFI Funding for CED and CED-HFFI Projects Webinar, which took place on October 22, 2015, are now available.
The materials from this webinar can be accessed on the CDFI Funding for CED and CED-HFFI Projects Webinar page, which you can also access from the CED Leveraging Additional Funding Resources page. The materials include the presentation slides and a transcript. The full audio visual recording will be available shortly.
Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:
v Foundation Center RFP Service - To subscribe visit: http://foundationcenter.org/newsletters/
v To subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.
v Electronic newsletter of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship News. To subscribe, http://team.energizingentrepreneurs.org/news2/public_html/lists/?p=subscribe
v Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter: http://www.kansascityfed.org/alert/’
v Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful. http://www.blueavocado.org/
v Rural LISC e-newsletter - http://www.lisc.org/rural
v National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) – www.nado.org
v ERS - A notification service is provided by USDA's Economic Research Service for Charts of Note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you. You can subscribe at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Updates/
v Orton Family Foundation – email sign-up - http://www.orton.org/sign_up