The loss of tax revenue may seem daunting when a mine or power plant closes. Your community will want to develop new businesses and revenue streams as quickly as possible. The good news is that there are many resources out there to help you.
Five Tips for Applying for Funding
- Check to ensure your community's goals, vision, and geography align with the funding source.
- For federal sources, contact your state or regional program manager (see table below) to discuss your funding request or project idea. Ask your program manager if they can share past applications that were awarded funding for examples on how to write a successful grant application.
- Attend webinars or information sessions that the funding source may provide.
- Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity or Request for Proposals closely to determine the funder’s objectives and other grant application requirements such as page length, letters of recommendation, budget information and format, and supplemental materials.
- Reach out to strategic partners to discuss potential collaboration. Strong partnerships can often lead to more dynamics and impactful proposals
There is a wide range of federal funding that is available to assist your community with transition planning and implementation. Below are agencies that often provide funding for transition-related activities, including community, economic and workforce development. You can find all federal funding opportunities at grants.gov.
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that is a partnership among the federal, state, and local governments. They provide grants to distressed communities throughout the Appalachia region.
Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative
In partnership with EDA and DOL, POWER provides federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. POWER funds projects that further economic opportunities, ready the workforce, invest in critical infrastructure, strengthen natural and cultural assets and build leadership and community capacity. Eligible applicants may include Local Development Districts, Tribes, states, counties, cities, or other political subdivision of a state, a consortium of political subdivisions, institutions of higher education, public or private non-profit organizations or associations.
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants for a range of projects aimed at protecting human health and the environment, including brownfield assessment and clean-up, water infrastructure, and environmental education grants. Grant opportunities may vary by region.
Brownfields Grant Funding
EPA's Brownfields Program provides direct funding for brownfields assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, environmental job training, technical assistance, training, and research. Eligible applicants may include units of government, tribes, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, redevelopment agencies.
Recreation Economy for Rural Communities
Recreation Economy for Rural Communities is a planning assistance program to help communities develop strategies and an action plan to revitalize their Main Streets through outdoor recreation. Activities could include developing trail networks to attract new businesses and visitors, developing in-town amenities such as broadband, or marketing Main Street as a gateway to nearby natural lands.
US Department of Agriculture, Rural Development (USDA)
USDA Rural Development has a series of grants and programs to support economic development in rural America. The offer loans and grants for housing and health care programs, as well as water, electric and communications infrastructure. Rural Development also provides technical assistance around affordable housing, supporting agricultural producers, and community empowerment programs.
Intermediary Relending Program
The Intermediary Relending Program provides 1% low-interest loans to local lenders that re-lend to businesses to improve economic conditions and create jobs in rural communities. Eligible local lenders include nonprofits, cooperatives, federally-recognized tribes, and public agencies.
Rural Energy for America Program (Grant and Loans)
This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant
This program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans or grants to local utility organizations, which are then passed to local businesses with the goal of creating or retaining jobs in rural areas. Eligible projects include business incubators, facilities and equipment for medical care, start-up venture costs, or business expansion.
US Economic Development Administration (EDA)
The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides grant assistance for planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure construction activities. EDA works directly with communities to support the implementation of economic development strategies to help new and existing businesses.
Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance
(includes Assistance to Coal Communities)
Through this program, the EDA solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investment that support construction, planning, technical assistance and revolving loan fund projects. Projects should leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities, including those negatively impacted by changes to the coal economy. Eligible applicants may include District Organizations, Tribes, states, counties, cities, or other political subdivision of a state, a consortium of political subdivisions, institutions of higher education, public or private non-profit organizations or associations.
Build to Scale
This program is a series of grant competitions that builds regional economies through scalable startups that further technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high quality job growth, create more economic opportunities. Eligible applicants include states, tribes, cities or other political subdivisions, and entities (501(c)(3), academic, Public-Private Partnerships economic development organizations) whose application is supported by the state.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration assists small business owners and entrepreneurs through grant funding, loan programs, disaster assistance and investment capital.
Business Loan Program
The SBA works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses. SBA sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions. The SBA reduces risk for lenders and makes it easier for them to access capital. That makes it easier for small businesses to get loans.
Entrepreneurial Development Programs
These SBA technical assistance programs support the training and counseling needs of small businesses. There are numerous SBA resource centers located throughout the country including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Entrepreneurship Education programs.
US Department of Labor (DOL)
The Department of Labor serves a wide variety of functions and provides grants and technical assistance through numerous agencies, including Employment and Training Administration, Mine Safety & Health Administration, and Veterans’ Employment and Training Services.
Black Lung Disability Trust Fund
Funds provides monthly payments and medical treatment benefits to coal miners totally disabled from black lung arising from their employment in or around the nation's coal mines or monthly payments to eligible surviving dependents.
Re-Employment, Support, and Training for the Opioid-Related (RESTORE)
Grant funding intended to provide employment training, career services, and supportive services to women who have been directly or indirectly affected by the opioid crisis in order to support positive outcomes for women participants. Eligible applicants may include units of government, tribes, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, state and local workforce development boards.
Workforce Opportunity for Rural Community (WORC)
(in partnership with ARC and Delta Regional Authority)
Grant funding for the development of local and regional workforce development solutions. Eligible applicants may include units of government, tribes, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, institutions of higher education, school districts, regional organizations.
Want more information?
There are a number of additional federal programs that provide grants, loans, and technical assistance for community-based economic development projects. Download information on additional programs in JTF's Federal Programs for Communities in Economic Transition.
JTF has assisted many communities in drafting and reviewing federal grant proposals to apply for EDA grants, POWER grants and Administration for Native Americans (ANA) grants. If you’d like more information about finding federal, state, or private funding opportunities for your transition efforts, we can help.
Council of Foundations
Philanthropy also plays an important role in supporting transition efforts. The Council of Foundations offers a free Community Foundation Locator that can help your community identify foundation funding opportunities.