The following content was provided by the national Community Action Partnership and Community Economic Development:

Public Policy Update

Last week, Congress passed emergency legislation (CARE) to deal with the national coronavirus outbreak.  Included in the large Third Stimulus package was $5 billion in additional funds for the CDBG program.  For additional details on HUD programs that received additional funding through the Third Stimulus package, click here.

The Small Business Administration’s Microloan program will receive funds to cover six months of principal, interest and fees by borrowers.   CDFIs did not receive any additional funding through this package, but efforts are underway to include them in any future stimulus efforts.  For a comprehensive review of CED related elements in the CARE Act, click here.


The USDA has announced two funding opportunities.  The first is for technical assistance and training for small rural businesses.  Grants must be used in areas with a population of under 50,000.  Funds can be used for a wide variety of small business and economic development-related projects.  For more information click here.

The second funding opportunity is for the Rural Microenterpreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), which provides both grants and loans to rural nonprofits that assist local microentrepreneurs.  Grant funds can be used to cover the costs of providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs and loan funds can be used to make loans to local businesses in towns of under 50,000 people.   These funds are available on an on-going basis.  For more details, click here.

The Community Strategies Group at the Aspen Institute has just released a new report, Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America’s Rural Innovation Infrastructure.  The report looks at intermediaries in rural areas and that are doing development differently.  Called Hubs by the Community Strategies Group, these rural organizations work to increase community assets, increase local ownership of those assets, and involve low-income residents in the design of the local initiatives.   For a copy of the report, click here.  In addition, the Partnership and Aspen Institute will be hosting a webinar on the report in the spring.  Watch our e-newsletters and social media for more details.