USDA is seeking Applications for Projects Supporting Regional Economic and Community Development Planning in Pennsylvania

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for projects that prioritize strategic investments to grow the economy and build prosperity in rural communities.

Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) funding may be used to develop and implement multi-jurisdictional or multi-sectoral strategic community investment plans. Rural Development implements SECD by reserving funds from the appropriations for covered programs.

The deadline to approve and obligate funds for the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program is June 30, 2021. All Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan applications must also be received prior to this date. In Pennsylvania, projects will be limited to renovations and equipment procurement because of the short application window.

In Pennsylvania, contact your local county loan specialist with questions or additional information.

To apply for SECD funding, applicants must meet all requirements and application deadlines for the program to which they are applying. In addition, applicants must submit Form RD 1980-88, “Strategic Economic Community Development (Section 6401).” Applicants applying for SECD funding through a loan guarantee program may submit forms under the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative application guidelines. All SECD direct loans and grant applications should be submitted through a local area loan specialist.

This funding is awarded on a competitive basis. Consideration of proposed projects will be based on:

  1. How well the project supports multi-jurisdictional plan,
  2. Whether the plan contains evidence of collaboration among multiple stakeholders,
  3. Whether the project leverages applicable regional resources; and
  4. Whether the plan includes clear objectives with measurable metrics.

For additional information, see page 1918 of the January 11, 2021, Federal Register.

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