COVID-19 Response Resources
The Department of Economic Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was allocated approximately $43 million to help communities across the state prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities may apply for funding for eligible activities including public services, infrastructure, economic assistance, and planning. While activities can address a variety of unmet needs, they must be directly related to COVID-19. Deadline: Applications accepted on rolling basis until funds are depleted.
The American Rescue Plan’s Grants to Organizations program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible organizations including, but not limited to, nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, units of state or local government, federally recognized tribal communities or tribes, and a wide range of other organizations that can help advance the goals of this program. Grants will be made to eligible organizations to support their own operations. Unlike other Arts Endowment funding programs that offer project-based support, Rescue Plan funds are intended to support day-to-day business expenses/operating costs, and not specific programmatic activities. Cost share/matching funds are not required. Support is limited to any or all of the following: salary support, fees/stipends for artists and/or contractual personnel to support the services they provide for specific activities as part of organizational operations, facilities costs such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities, costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/audiences, and marketing and promotion costs. Applicants may request a fixed grant amount for: $50,000, $100,000 or $150,000. Deadline: Applications will be submitted in two separate groups: one for organizations with legal names beginning with A-L versus one for organizations with legal names beginning with M-Z. Submit preliminary information to Grants.gov for both submission groups: August 12, 2021, Group A-L application due by August 25, 2021, Group M-Z application due by September 2, 2021.
The Rural Business Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that in response to the national COVID–19 Public Health Emergency, USDA Rural Development was provided additional funding assistance of $20,500,000 in budget authority appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This program offers loan guarantees to lenders for their loans to rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Lenders need the legal authority, financial strength and sufficient experience to operate a successful lending program. This includes federal and state-chartered banks, savings and loans, farm credit banks, and credit unions. For-profit businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, federally-recognized tribes, and public bodies may qualify for these guaranteed loans. Deadline: September 15, 2021.
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more. Deadline: Phase 1: October 1, 2021; Phase 2: March 15, 2022.
EDA’s American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge aims to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. Through the Good Jobs Challenge, EDA is allocating $500 million to collaborative skills training systems and programs. EDA encourages efforts to reach historically underserved populations and areas. These systems and partnerships will create and implement industry-led training programs, designed to provide skills for and connect unemployed or underemployed workers to existing and emerging job opportunities. Ultimately, these systems are designed to train workers with the skills to secure a union job or a quality job that provides good pay, benefits, and growth opportunities. Deadline: January 26, 2022.
EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Deadline: March 15, 2022, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Through the Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, EDA is focused on accelerating the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds are allocated to support the following efforts: State Tourism Grants: $510 million in non-competitive awards to help states quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel; and Competitive Grants: $240 million to help communities that have been hardest hit by challenges facing the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, workforce or other projects to support the recovery of the industry and economic resilience of the community in the future. Deadline: Competitive Tourism Grants due March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis.
The SAFHR Program provides rent and utility assistance for households who have been impacted by COVID-19. Eligible tenants can apply for financial assistance to be paid directly to their landlord or utility provider. Financial assistance includes rent and utility arrears for the period beginning April 2020 and up to 3 months of forward rent and prepaid fuel utility assistance. The first priority is to provide financial assistance to eligible Missouri households beginning February 2021. Rental assistance requests will be processed first and utility assistance requests are anticipated to be processed in March 2021. Expected to remain open until September 2022.
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Venues must have been in operations as of February 29, 2020 and have not applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. Deadline: Currently open.
Created as a key pillar of KKR’s COVID-19 Relief Effort, KKR Small Business Builders (SBB) aims to support entrepreneurs and their small businesses around the world. The grants are designed to help business owners sustain their enterprises, maintain or create jobs, and spur economic opportunity as they respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and recover from its resultant economic dislocation. KKR Small Business Builders will support companies in three key ways: access to capital, technical expertise, and a network of support. To be eligible, a business must have between 5 and 50 employees, less than $7 million USD in annual revenue, demonstrated need for support, a strong plan for moving forward, and be in good standing with the IRS or their local regulatory body.
GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to create a Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these three companies has contributed $500,000 to the Fund, and it’s receiving additional donations from the public. The fund will provide $500 grants to any small business that raises $500 on GoFundMe.
Current Grant Opportunities
Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, they support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors. Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. Projects may include activities such as: arts engagement, cultural planning, design, and artist and creative industry support. Deadline: Submit to grants.gov by August 5, 2021, submit full application by August 17, 2021.
As part of its ongoing commitment to rural communities across the country, FRS offers aid for communities served by NTCA members through its annual Community Grants Program. These grants are designed to provide support to a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural America. Applications for these grants are accepted ranging from $250 to $5,000. The grants awarded support a variety of projects concentrated in four major categories: business and economic development, community development, education, and telecommunications applications. Applicants must work with a NTCA member as a sponsor of their application. Deadline: September 15, 2021.
The purpose of the Challenge Grants program is to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Awards aim to help institutions secure long-term support for their core activities and expand efforts to preserve and create access to outstanding humanities materials. The program funds two distinct types of projects: Capital Projects support the design, purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities for humanities activities. This includes the purchase and installation of related moveable and permanently affixed equipment for exhibiting, maintaining, monitoring, and protecting collections (whether on exhibit or in storage), and for critical building systems, such as electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning, security, life safety, lighting, utilities, telecommunications, and energy management; and Digital Infrastructure supports maintenance, modernization, and sustainability of existing digital scholarly projects and platforms. Deadline: Additional round due September 28, 2021.
The Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant will fund projects that address food insecurity within urbanized areas. Applicants must provide a minimum 25% match for their project in a combination of cash or in-kind contributions; however, the cash match must be greater than 50% of the total match for eligibility. Funding is available up to $50,000 per project. Applications for the grant funds must benefit residents affected by food insecurity in urbanized areas including the following counties: Boone, Buchanan, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Clay, Cole, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Newton, Platte, St. Charles and St. Louis as well as within the city of St. Louis. Deadline: September 30, 2021.
T-Mobile is investing big in small towns by awarding up to 100 towns a year with project funding—up to $50,000 each. The program will focus on revitalizing community spaces in towns with 50,000 people or less, and Main Street programs are encouraged to apply. Submit a proposal for a town project of your choice, and if selected, use the funds to get started. For example, you could implement tech upgrades at your library, refresh a local park, or break ground on a new place where neighbors can connect. Deadline: Applications accepted quarterly, next deadline is September 30, 2021.
The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) will be funding National Register, Survey, Planning and Outreach and Predevelopment (also known as Preconstruction) projects. The HPF grants fund projects that relate directly to the identification, evaluation, or protection of historic properties. All Certified Local Governments, all county governmental entities, municipalizes, and qualified non-profit organizations with a historic preservation mission are eligible to apply for Historic Preservation Fund grants. Approximately $200,000 in grants will be awarded. Required pre-applications are due before 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2021. The pre-application will be evaluated no later than Oct. 15, 2021. Deadline: Final applications due November 1, 2021.
The PeopleForBikes (PFB) Community Grant Program provides funding for important projects that build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. As part of PFB’s efforts to get more children and youth on bikes, this grant cycle is dedicated to supporting bike park and pump track projects only. PeopleForBikes accepts grant applications from non-profit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development, from city or county agencies or departments, and from state or federal agencies working locally. Deadline: Letter of intent due July 23, 2021, full application due October 15, 2021.
Highlighted Ongoing Grant Opportunities
Rural LISC created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing.
Rural LISC has developed an innovative new financing tool to provide low-interest loans to qualified commercial real estate projects in rural America. The Growing Rural Communities Fund will finance real estate acquisition and construction costs to spur job creation and economic revitalization in distressed communities. Deadline: ongoing.
This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Deadline: ongoing.
This program provides loan guarantees to eligible private lenders to help build essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Deadline: ongoing.