Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Funding, Using Rescue Act Funds, Capacity Building, and more!

Source: Pennsylvania Downtown Center

Using Rescue Act Funds for Trails, Parks, and Conservation

Although many municipalities and counties are currently discussing allocations to conservation projects, some municipal advisors had expressed doubt that this was an appropriate use of funds. Fortunately, the US Treasury recently provided an updated set of FAQs to provide further guidance on eligible uses for ARPA funds. The updated FAQs (as of July 19, 2021) make it very clear that investing in parks, open space, recreation, trails, and conservation are eligible uses for ARPA funds and that counties and municipalities have significant discretion in how to award funds to such projects. This excerpt of the relevant portion of the FAQs, can be shared with stakeholders—including those who may be skeptical—when making the case of the use of funding.

Silas Chamberlin, PhD, Vice President, Economic Development, York County Economic Alliance and PDC board member shared information about the historic opportunity to use county and municipal ARPA funding to support parks, trails, recreation, and conservation in every community across PA. The details of that opportunity are outlined in the video and memo below:

Rescue Act Video: https://youtu.be/ykSt-Bic5uQ
Rescue Act Memo: https://tinyurl.com/sc88ab73

$500 Million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Funding Available through American Rescue Plan

The Biden-Harris Administration announces that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making up to $500 million available in grants to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, health care services and nutrition assistance.

President Biden’s comprehensive plan to recover the economy and deliver relief to the American people is changing the course of the pandemic and providing immediate relief to millions of households, growing the economy and addressing the stark, intergenerational inequities that have worsened in the wake of COVID-19.

Applicants may apply for two types of assistance: Recovery Grants and Impact Grants.

The Biden-Harris Administration is making Recovery Grants available to help public bodies, nonprofit organizations and tribes provide immediate COVID-19 relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities.

These funds may be used to increase COVID-19 vaccine distribution and telehealth capabilities; purchase medical supplies; replace revenue lost during the pandemic; build and rehabilitate temporary or permanent structures for health care services; support staffing needs for vaccine administration and testing; and support facility and operations expenses associated with food banks and food distribution facilities.

Recovery Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are expended.

The Administration also is making Impact Grants available to help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.

USDA encourages applicants to plan and implement strategies to:

  • develop health care systems that offer a blend of behavioral care, primary care and other medical services;
  • support health care as an anchor institution in small communities; and
  • expand telehealth, electronic health data sharing, workforce development, transportation, paramedicine, obstetrics, behavioral health, farmworker health care and cooperative home care.

Impact Grant applications must be submitted to your local USDA Rural Development State Office by 4:00 p.m. local time on Oct. 12, 2021.

For additional information, please see the notice (PDF, 343 KB) in today’s Federal Register. USDA encourages potential applicants to review the application guide at www.rd.usda.gov/erhc.

Great American Main Street Awards

Via the National Main Street Center: Applications for the 2022 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) are open through Wednesday, September 15th at 11:59PM CST.

The GAMSA program recognizes communities exemplifying the use of the Main Street Approach to revitalize commercial districts.

As a reminder the requirements for a community to apply are that they must be an Accredited Main Street America Program with an active MSA Membership and not a previous GAMSA winner. If you missed the recent webinar with Debbie Brangenberg of Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association (Tupelo, MS) who was a 2020 GAMSA recipient, you can view it here.

T-Mobile Hometown Grant Program

Don’t miss the chance to apply for a $50K grant for your community! Submit your application for the T-Mobile Hometown Grants Program by Sept. 30.

Small towns with populations less than 50,000 are eligible to apply for grants of up to $50K to fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections in your town.

Are you using the August #NPLL Toolkit?

Even if you don’t use all the resources from the toolkit for PDC’s There’s ‘No Place Like Local” monthly campaign, why not freshen up your Facebook page with one asset? Here’s an example from Bill Kohler, Director of Mainstreet Waynesboro.

Remind your community members to 1) snap a pic while shopping locally for back to school supplies, 2) post on Facebook or Instagram and 3) include hashtag #NPLL and tag @padowntown. See, it’s as simple as 1-2-3 for a chance at a $100 gift card.