From our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development – note there are numerous publications on rural health and useful information for small business owners (especially on Affordable Care Act compliance).
USDA Rural Development 2015 Progress Report
Highlights the investments USDA Rural Development has made to promote community and economic development including the support for healthcare facilities and the support for projects that impact the health and safety of rural Americans. Provides state-by-state statistics on the total amount of funding for each of the USDA-RD programs. Includes information on USDA-RD funding for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Western Pacific.
Sponsoring organization: USDA Rural Development
Investing in Educator Capacity: An Analysis of State 'Race to the Top' Spending
Race to the Top, a $4.35 billion federal grant competition launched in 2009 with the goal of sparking improvements in K-12 education, drove significant reform at the state level, a report from the Center for American Progress finds.
FCC Petition: Better Rural Broadband Means More Telehealth Services
Jan 26, 2016 -- Describes a coalition of telehealth and health IT organizations and its effort to petition the Federal Communications Commission to improve wireless and broadband access in rural areas to encourage further development of telehealth capabilities in these areas.
Source: mHealth Intelligence
Giving Unchained: Philanthropy and the Blockchain
Blockchain, a secure transactional data technology, could offer new opportunities for businesses and charities, including greater transparency, lower costs, snd increased donor trust, a report from the Charities Aid Foundation argues.
Obama Administration to Partner with 27 Communities to Boost Neighborhood Revitalization Through Local Food Enterprises
Jan 25, 2016 -- The White House Rural Council and six federal agencies announce selected communities to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative aimed to increase health and economic wellness in rural and urban communities by improving access to healthy, local food.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
Jan 25, 2016 -- Describes three awardees of the Centene Foundation's Improving Health in Rural Counties/Parishes program and how they sought to address behavioral health and nutritional needs of rural people in 3 different states across the country. Highlights the importance of collaboration and partnerships in serving rural communities.
Source: Behavioral Healthcare
Rural Hospital Crisis Crosses Borders
Jan 24, 2016 -- Describes the spread of financial pressure on rural healthcare facilities across multiple states, specifically drawing on examples of rural service closures in Georgia and South Carolina.
Source: Georgia Health News
Strengthening the Small Hospital Supply Chain: Big Opportunities, Big Savings
Jan 22, 2016 -- Discusses the importance of focusing on efficiently managing the supply chain for rural hospitals. Highlights potential savings that can be realized despite the challenges that rural hospitals face.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
Healthy Food and Small Stores
In October 2015, Wallace Center attended a meeting of 40 public health leaders and national experts in food retail, agriculture, distribution and marketing to tackle challenges and best practices for distributing healthy food to small stores across the United States. This meeting, co-hosted by The Food Trust and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, produced a full report on closing the distribution gap.
Growing Farm to School: Partnering with Farm Credit
Farm Credit is partnering with National Farm to School Network to support their efforts to increase local food purchases and bring agriculture education to schools. Read through this FAQ on who Farm Credit is and why your organization should consider a partnership with Farm Credit.
A toolkit from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that effective strategies to secure support for promising programs aimed at helping young men of color must address implicit bias, the racial gap in perceptions of structural bias, and an empathy gap that causes young men of color to be seen as "other"
Third Round Promise Zones Competition - Deadlines, Webcasts, and Resources
The Obama Administration invites a new round of eligible applicants to apply for a Promise Zone designation. Urban, rural, and tribal communities nationwide are invited to put forward plans to address multiple community revitalization challenges in a collaborative way. Any community meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for a designation. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will designate 7 Promise Zones across urban, rural, and tribal communities in the Spring of 2016. A non-binding Application Request Form is due by February 19, 2016 EST. All Application submissions must be received by 5:00 PM EST on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 via MAX Survey.
Resources for Applicants:
The Federal Register Notice
Third Round Urban Application Guide
Promise Zone Fact Sheet
PDF of Urban Application in MAX Survey
Third Round Application Request Form
Promise Zone Mapping Tool
Draft Overview of Promise Zone's Communications, Reporting & Data Sharing Framework
Why Investing in Youth Improves Economic Development
Here are just three examples of how investing in young people can positively impact your economic development outcomes:
· Youth are a spark of entrepreneurial energy that communities need to get up on their feet and forge ahead, renewing optimism and energy among adult leaders as well.
· Many young people have technology skills that can help local businesses compete more effectively in our increasingly networked economy. They may also start new businesses that use technology as a backbone for bringing new wealth and jobs to your community. Read about a high school senior who is helping to fill his community high school's technology needs as well as building his town a new website.
· Each alum a community attracts home has a potential impact of bringing three or more as these young adults get married and have children. Newcomers can have similar impacts, especially if they are invited to become involved in your community.
Youth engagement done properly will help you focus your economic development priorities for long-term impact and growth. A key first step is an assessment of youth perspectives about their community and their motivations to stay or return in the future. Here's an example of such an assessment.
Per-capita participation in USDA’s School Breakfast Program grew from 2009 to 2014 in almost all States
Per-capita participation in USDA’s School Breakfast Program (SBP) has increased from 3.6 participants per 100 U.S. residents in 2009 to 4.2 participants per 100 residents in 2014, and most States’ per-capita SBP participation levels rose. For most States, changes in population and in enrollment in schools that serve USDA school meals were less important than changes in the share of students who take school breakfast. For example, West Virginia’s increase from 5.1 to 7.1 SBP participants per 100 residents reflected small increases in the State’s population and school enrollments, and a large jump in the number of students taking school breakfast—increasing from 31 to 44 percent of students. In only four States did per-capita SBP participation levels decline, and these declines were 0.2 percentage point or less. School Breakfast Program participation across the whole United States has increased steadily from 11.1 million students in 2009 to 13.6 million in 2014 due to a variety of factors, including more schools offering the program, more schools offering free breakfast for all students, and increasing use of formats such as breakfast in the classroom, which reduces arrival-time barriers for many children. This map is from ERS’s Food Environment Atlas.
Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016 explores how changes in the nature of employment, made possible by new technologies, will lead to a shift in the role and approach of civil society organizations. This annual forecast by scholar Lucy Bernholz is published by GrantCraft, a service of Foundation Center. Blueprint's signature features include predictions of global events in the coming year and a "Buzzword Watch." Download the report ›
Thanks to the hard work of Rural Americans, along with record investments in infrastructure under the Recovery Act and the 2014 Farm Bill, over the last seven years America was able to pull itself out of one of the deepest economic recessions since the Great Depression. While we’ve seen wages rise and unemployment fall in rural areas over the last several years, workers in rural America still receive less hours and earn less pay than those in urban areas. Fortunately, for those who need help making ends meet, the Earned Income Tax Credit can help.
HUD Updates the Entitlement and State CDBG IDIS Manuals for Grant Based Accounting
HUD has updated the Entitlement and State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) Manuals to incorporate grant based accounting changes. Edits include:
· Activity Funding and Drawdowns - the addition of instructions to specify the year of the CDBG grant from which funds are to be committed for grant years 2015 and later
· Program Income - instructions for associating program income with the grant
· Repayments - new instructions for repayment of grant funds to a local account
These training manuals explain how to set up, fund, draw funds, and report accomplishments and performance measures for CDBG activities in IDIS.
Federal Planning Assistance for Broadband and Sustainable Community Development: Cool & Connected
USDA Rural Utilities Service Administrator Brandon McBride encouraged communities interested in using broadband service to help revitalize small-town main streets and promote economic development apply for Cool & Connected, a pilot program sponsored by USDA Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities. Through Cool & Connected, a team of experts will help community members develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to promote smart, sustainable community development.
· Any community representative is welcome to submit a letter of interest to participate in Cool & Connected.
· Special consideration will be given to small towns and rural communities that face economic challenges.
· Special consideration will be given to communities in places where USDA has provided loans or grants in support of broadband or other internet-related services.
Deadline and where to send letters of interest
Submit your letter of interest to Ed Fendley at Fendley.Ed@epa.gov by Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Kindly include “Cool & Connected” and the name of your community in your e-mail subject line.
What to include in your letter of interest
Your letter of interest can be in the text of an email or an attachment. It should be no longer than two printed pages. If you want, you can provide additional letters of support from partners, but this is not necessary.
Community representatives are encouraged to describe community needs and challenges related to downtown revitalization or other place-based development, and how a planning process might help. You should indicate any areas of interest related to internet service and place-based development, such as:
· Using new or existing broadband service to attract new types of businesses to main streets or existing rural communities
· Combining internet service with other local amenities to attract new investors, visitors, and residents
· Developing or marketing downtown Wi-Fi zones
· Extending broadband service beyond anchor institutions in ways that promote main street development
· Selecting centrally located anchor institutions or community facilities that will receive broadband service
Community representatives submitting letters of interest are also encouraged to indicate partners that can be expected to participate in a planning process, such as local internet service providers, local officials, business associations, or local schools or colleges.
Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program
Awards grants to women's domestic violence shelters.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 31, 2016
Sponsor: The Mary Kay Foundation
Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (TMIECHV) Program: Development and Implementation Grants
Grants to tribes for community needs assessments; planning, adopting, implementing, expanding, enhancing, and sustaining of evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs; and to provide high-quality home visiting programs.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 6, 2016
Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2016
Sponsor: Administration for Children and Families
Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (TMIECHV) Program: Implementation and Expansion Grants
Funds to support federally-recognized Indian tribes (or a consortium of Indian tribes), tribal organizations, or urban Indian organizations that are currently operating an evidence-based home visiting program and propose to sustain and/or expand their established infrastructure for home visiting services in tribal communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 6, 2016
Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2016
Sponsor: Administration for Children and Families
2016 ANA Funding Opportunity Announcements Now Available
The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) has published 6 Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for fiscal year 2016. FOAs give full information on application requirements for each program area and how to apply. Applications are due on April 6, 2016. Download the full FOA for each program at the ANA website.
Grant Notice: Underground Storage Tank Compliance Assistance and Training Support in Indian Country
The U.S. EPA is soliciting proposals to promote the prevention of releases from federally-regulated underground storage tanks (USTs) in Indian country and the compliance of UST facilities in Indian country with federal regulations. Funding provided through this grant program shall be used for activities that support UST compliance in Indian country through education of owners and operators, training opportunities for Tribal government personnel, and Tribal UST compliance program development and collaboration. The goals of this cooperative agreement are to provide Tribal governments and UST facilities in Indian country with training, compliance assistance, and collaborative opportunities.
Application Deadline: February 11, 2016
Eligibility: States and Territories and federally-recognized Tribes and Intertribal Consortia
Funding Available: The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is $1,000,000. Maximum funding in FY2016 shall not exceed $200,000.
U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement
The funding provided through the EJCPS Cooperative Agreement will be awarded to community-based organizations to support collaboration and partnerships with industry, government, academia, and other stakeholders so as to develop and implement solutions that address local environmental and public health issues. Organizations are encouraged to have a connection between the proposed project activities and applicable neighborhood, local, city, or regional land use planning efforts. Proposals should include outreach to affected underserved vulnerable communities and residents about environmental and public health issues and engage them in activities to plan, access, improve, and benefit from their local environment.
Application Deadline: February 12, 2016
Maximum Grant Award: $120,000
• To view the full announcement and access the application, CLICK HERE.
• EJ Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program Brochure (PDF)
• 2014 Project Descriptions (PDF)
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education – Multiple grant opportunities
Deadline: Varies by state and project
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) funds a range of research and education projects for farmers, ranchers, extension agents, nonprofits, students, and communities, among others. Grant funding and availability vary per state, but grants have been awarded to a range of projects including on-farm renewable energy, sustainable communities, local and regional food systems, cover crops, and more. Visit the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education website for more information and funding opportunities in your region.
Organic Farming Research Foundation Accepting Research Proposals
Deadline: February 8, 2016
Priorities for this year's research include projects related to soil health, with emphasis on water management; creating new organic farmers and ranchers and transition of producers to organic systems including education and training; livestock production, especially breeding for organic systems, diseases and pasture management; and small grain production, especially related to creating a diverse rotational system. Read the full Request for Proposals here for greater details about the grant and apply here.
The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
Deadline: March 10, 2016
The USDA is now accepting applications for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Approximately 18 million in funding is available and grants typically range from $50,000-$200,000. Visit the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative website to apply.
POSTED: January 26, 2016
DEADLINE: February 25, 2016
With the goal of promoting dialogue, raising awareness, and developing new and broader audiences, the foundation will award grants of up to $30,000 to help organizations with the production and presentation of significant programs about architecture and the designed environment....
POSTED: January 23, 2016
DEADLINE: May 5, 2016
Grants of up to $600,000 will be awarded in support of research designed to advance understanding in the area of inequalities in youth development and/or to increase understanding of how research is acquired, understood, and used, as well as the circumstances that shape its use in decision making....
POSTED: January 29, 2016
DEADLINE: March 18, 2016
Grants will be awarded in support of nonprofit projects focused on accelerating neighborhood
revitalization, economic development, and job creation in municipalities across the country....
POSTED: January 26, 2016
DEADLINE: March 18, 2016 (Initial Proposals)
Grants of up to $75,000 will be awarded to new and existing programs that encourage parental involvement as a means to improve high school graduation rates....
POSTED: January 28, 2016
DEADLINE: March 9, 2016
Grants of up to $500,000 over five years will be awarded to academic investigators developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that have the potential to inform regulatory decisions made by the Food and Drug Administration and others....
Rural Gateway Peer-To-Peer Conference Call: U.S. Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation Funding Opportunity: A Discussion of Best Practices - February 9, 2016 - 2 PM EST
The Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development (ORHED) invites you to take part in our next Peer-to-Peer conference call. Scheduled for February 9, 2016, this call will offer participants the opportunity to learn about available activities through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Call-in instructions and additional materials will be emailed to participants on February 5, 2016. The 60 minute call will include presentations and a Q&A session.
Please RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than close of business on February 5, 2016. Please include your name and organization.
If you have any questions, please call 1-877-RURAL-26 (1-877-787-2526).
CDFA Launches NEW Brownfield Technical Assistance Program: Online Project Marketplace
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) has recently launched a new and innovative platform for specialized project-based technical assistance. Online Project Marketplace is an opportunity for communities to receive individual assistance with brownfields redevelopment projects through an open, online round-table discussion with redevelopment experts. If chosen to participate in the Online Project Marketplace, your community will give a brief presentation during the online conference detailing the specifics of your brownfield site, and will be followed by an open discussion among community officials, technical assistance partners and experts to provide you with initial suggestions in moving forward with your redevelopment plans and identifying financing sources. CDFA notes that communities that have already assessed and/or cleaned-up the site in question, or at least have a clean-up plan in place, are in the best position to take advantage of this opportunity. To enroll in the Online Project Marketplace, complete the application provided HERE. CDFA staff will follow up with you at the contact information you provide below to confirm your submission.
Date: Friday February 2nd - 4th, 2016 | 12PM - 5PM
Targeted Community Reinvestment: HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program as a Financing Tool - 2016 Update Webinar - February 10, 2016 - 2 PM EST
This webinar, to be held on February 10, 2016, will describe how the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program (Section 108) can serve as an important financing tool in targeting reinvestment for economic development, public facilities and improvements, and housing rehabilitation. The loan guarantees can help recipients leverage limited public resources to catalyze investment in communities, especially those facing, among other challenges, persistent poverty and the need to increase community resilience following the impact of natural disasters.
Along with this information, the webinar will explain recent rule changes that permit HUD to charge borrowers a one-time fee upon loan approval. The webinar also will provide an overview of how Section 108 recipients should be using HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) to track and disburse funds.
Throughout my career, mentors changed my trajectory. Through them I met successful people who were willing to listen to my ideas—and give their advice on how to turn them into great opportunities.
There are many reasons to consider a business structure change. With a different business structure, would your business be more successful?
It's a shame that so many people think business plans are just for startups, or to back up loan applications, or for getting investors. The truth is that business planning offers serious benefits for everybody in business.
Webinars | Affordable Care Act 101
SBA and Small Business Majority will host free Affordable Care Act 101 webinars so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance marketplaces. The webinars begin at 2pm ET.
February 18: Register now
March 3: Register now
March 17: Register now
March 31: Register now
April 14: Register now
April 28: Register now
Marketing Tips for Small Businesses | 4 Steps to Changing Your Business Structure
Marketing is an integral part of starting and managing a business. Learn more with SBA resources and from our contributing small business experts.
The Power of Emotional Marketing
What does emotional marketing mean, and how can your small business tap into it?
Rebrand Your Business, Step By Step
Is it time to rebrand your business? Different from simply freshening up your marketing materials, rebranding means changing the entire "personality" of your business.
Your website is your virtual place of business. Just like your regular place of business, you want it to be neat, clean, attractive, inviting and professional looking.
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