Senate Appropriations Committee Supports Economic Relief for Small Communities in Vermont
Senate Increases Funding for National Technical Assistance in FY2021 Bill
December 1, 2020 – Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations is supporting small communities by increasing funding for national technical assistance programs administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) within the Department of Commerce, and including report language which specifically includes funding for non-profit organizations supporting underserved communities across the United States, including Vermont. According to the Rural Health Information Hub, over 403,000 Vermont citizens live in rural communities.
The committee’s proposed increase would increase funding to $10 million from $1.5 million for EDA’s national technical assistance program. Technical Assistance providers increase the value of EDA funding to communities by providing pre-development assistance, identifying high-impact projects, and then connecting these communities to EDA for project development.
“RCAP knows all too well the economic crisis presented by COVID-19 has only served to exacerbate the challenges rural and underinvested communities face when developing economic development opportunities to stimulate economic prosperity,” said Nathan Ohle, CEO of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP). “The additional resources provided in the national technical assistance program will help communities build capacity on a local level to leverage EDA funding to provide the largest possible benefit.”
RCAP works with communities and partners across the country to advocate and generate economic opportunities for rural areas and to ensure every community has the resources needed to thrive. The services financed through this program will provide critical help to spur economic development in the small and disadvantaged communities where it is most needed, especially as our country continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCAP is a network of non-profit partners providing opportunity, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all fifty states, U.S. territories, and tribal lands to ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitary wastewater disposal, and economic prosperity for all rural America. In fiscal year 2019, the RCAP Network served approximately 2,000 communities, including 3.2 million rural and tribal residents. To learn more about RCAP, visit www.rcap.org.
Kinsey Brown, RCAP Communications Manager