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The following is a list of federal programs that provide grants, loans, and technical assistance for community-based economic development projects. See additional lists of other federal programs here.

Programs and their requirements are subject to change, so please check department websites for current information. The Just Transition Fund last updated this list on February 23, 2023.

Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) program provides planning grants and implementation grants that foster creative collaboration across state lines to produce a more robust and sustainable regional economy. Projects must serve and benefit, at a minimum, two states within a portion of the Appalachian Region, be led by at least two eligible organizations, and advance one or more of the five strategic investment priorities of ARC’s strategic plan: building Appalachian businesses, building Appalachia’s workforce ecosystem, building Appalachia’s infrastructure, building regional culture and tourism, building community leaders and capacity.

Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce And Economic Revitalization

Appalachian Regional Commission

Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) funding is distributed through the Appalachian Regional Commission for economic and workforce development projects in communities impacted by changes in the coal economy. Funds may be used for a range of projects that promote regional economic growth and diversification, new job creation, and re-employment opportunities for coal-economy workers. Eligible applicants include community-based organizations, public and private nonprofits, educational institutions, local development districts, and local and state governments.

Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program

Department of Agriculture

The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass the funds through to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. Funds may be used for a range of projects, including business incubators, workforce training costs, and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include current and former Rural Utilities Service borrowers and nonprofit utilities eligible to receive assistance from the Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication programs.

Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants

Department of Agriculture

The Rural Innovation Stronger Economies (RISE) Grants Program offers grant assistance to create and augment high-wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, support industry clusters and maximize the use of local productive assets in eligible low-income rural areas. Funds may be used to build or support a business incubator facility, provide worker training to assist in the creation of new jobs, train the existing workforce with skills for higher-paying jobs, and develop a base of skilled workers and improve their opportunities to obtain high-wage jobs in new or existing local industries. Eligible applicants are rural jobs accelerator partnerships with expertise in delivering economic and job training programs including nonprofit entities, state entities, tribal entities, institutions of higher education, and public bodies.

Community Economic Development Program

Department of Health and Human Services

The Community Economic Development (CED) program is a federal grant program that expands employment for individuals with low income in communities facing persistent poverty and high unemployment by investing in community development corporations (CDCs) that create and expand businesses and job opportunities. Eligible applicants include private, nonprofit CDCs, including faith-based organizations and Tribal and Alaskan Native organizations.

Community Economic Development Program Supporting Energy Communities

Department of Health and Human Services

The Community Economic Development (CED) Program Supporting Energy Communities supports economic revitalization, business expansion, and job creation in communities that have faced economic declines due to loss of coal and fossil fuel industries. The overall goal of this effort will be to create good-paying jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation, and support energy workers. Eligible applicants are private, nonprofit community development corporations that are located in and serve energy communities (communities that have either experienced employment loss and/or economic dislocation events as a result of declines in the fossil fuel industry and/or are disproportionately reliant on fossil fuel production or distribution).

Rural Community Development Program

Department of Health and Human Services

The Rural Community Development (RCD) program is a federal grant program that funds regional and tribal organizations that manage safe water systems in rural communities and provide training and technical assistance to very small, low-income rural communities in developing and managing affordable and safe water and wastewater treatment facilities. Eligible applicants include multi-state, regional, private, nonprofits that can provide training and technical assistance to small, low-income, rural and tribal communities concerning their community facility needs.

Community Services Block Grants

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Community Services Block Grants (CSBGs) provide funds to states, territories, and tribes to administer to support services that alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in under-resourced communities. Funds can be used for activities including housing, nutrition, utility, and transportation assistance; employment, education, and other income and asset building services; crisis and emergency services; and community asset building initiatives.

Business Loan Program

Small Business Administration

Business Administration (SBA) provides a range of loan programs for small businesses. These loans are made through lenders, who receive financial guarantees, guidelines, and other assistance from the SBA. Eligibility requirements vary by lender and loan programs.

Economic Adjustment Assistance

Economic Development Administration

The Economic Adjustment Assistance program provides cooperative agreements and strategy and implementation grants to support a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. Funds are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities, including those negatively impacted by changes to the coal economy and nuclear power plant closures. Eligible applicants include Federally-recognized tribal governments; nonprofits; county, state, and special district governments; private institutions of higher education; public and State controlled institutions of higher education; and city or township governments.

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