Thursday, May 12, 2022

Feds' resource guide and May 23-24 virtual meeting on placemaking aim to boost rural economic development

The Agriculture Department's Rural Development and the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration have released a joint resource guide meant to help rural communities create and execute economic-development strategies.

The guide lists RD and EDA programs under four broad categories to help rural stakeholders get started: Infrastructure and Broadband Expansion, Entrepreneurship and Business Assistance, Planning and Technical Assistance, and Workforce Development and Livability.

Entries for each program provide a summary of its purpose, links to learn more and apply, the type of assistance offered (grants, loans, cooperative agreements, or technical assistance, for example), and who is eligible.

Another good resource for rural stakeholders is the Placemaking in Small and Rural Communities Conference, held May 23-24. The free, virtual conference is presented by Rural Development and by the University of Kentucky's Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky. Xochitl Torres Small, USDA undersecretary for Rural Development, will be the keynote speaker.

From the website: "Placemaking is a collaborative process among public, private, philanthropic and community partners to strategically improve the social, cultural, and economic structure of a community. The 2022 Rural Placemaking Conference aims to showcase effective placemaking strategies for rural areas, introduce attendees to placemaking resources and tools, and connect them to placemaking experts and potential funders."

The conference will offer online tracks on the following topics:
  • Initiating Place
  • Public Spaces & Gathering Places
  • Community Cultural Planning & Assessments
  • Cross-Sector Engagement

Click here for more information and click here to register.

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