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Foothills Regional Commission Newsletter, June 21st, 2021

American Rescue Plan News: Statewide Information Session on June 30th, and New Treasury Guidance

There will be a statewide ARP Information Session on June 30th, with an overview of how ARP money can be spent, how the funding should work, and the Governor's plan for how State ARP money will be spent.  The target audience for this session are elected officials, local government staff, and state legislators.  

Governor Cooper will kick off the session, which will consist of two sections: an overview of ARP funding and state priorities, and then a technical guidance section with specifics on funding and compliance matters. 

The N.C. Association of Regional Councils of Government has been working with the NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO), the N.C. League of Municipalities, and other partners to develop this Information Session.  More details will be provided this week, so stay tuned!

UPDATED Treasury Guidance on ARP Compliance and Reporting can be found here.

Governor Cooper: Your Shot at a Million, Our Shot at Defeating the Pandemic for Good

Governor Cooper has announced the start of a new program to give North Carolina residents a shot at $1 million if they get vaccinated.  

Every other Wednesday beginning June 23, one North Carolinian will win a $1 million cash prize just for being vaccinated. Additionally, four people between the ages of 12 and 17 will win a $125,000 scholarship to any college of their choosing.

Every adult who has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, whether you got your shot in January or June, is automatically eligible to win one of the four $1 million cash prizes. You don’t have to do anything to enter other than get your shot

For more information, please see Governor Cooper's full announcement

LeverageNC's "Successful Small Town Series" starts June 23rd, 2021

Economic development comes in many sizes.  With this in mind, LeverageNC's Successful Small Town Series will demonstrate that you don't have to be a big community to achieve economic success.  The first in this new series will start this Wednesday, June 23rd, from 10:00 - 11:30.  To register, please click this link:

Leverage NC serves as a resource to further local government economic development efforts through a carefully curated catalog of educational offerings and expert resources. More information can be found at

USDA Resources and Opportunities


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has unveiled the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant program which is intended to help rural communities create good-paying jobs and support new business opportunities in high-growth fields. RISE provides grants of up to $2 million to consortiums of local governments, investors, industry, institutions of higher education, and other public and private entities in rural areas. Funds may be used to form job accelerator partnerships and create high-wage jobs, start or expand businesses, support economic growth, and establish and operate innovation centers and partnerships. Applicants are encouraged to contact their nearest USDA Rural Development State Office ahead of the application deadline on August 2, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applications are currently being accepted electronically via For additional information about the program, click here. USDA will also be hosting a webinar on Tuesday June 22 at 11:30 a.m. ET to help stakeholders and potential applicants learn more about this funding opportunity. To register for the webinar, click here.

USDA has also recently unveiled a Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development to help rural community leaders start and expand employment opportunities and access resources to train, recruit, and create a sustainable rural workforce. The resource guide outlines programs and services available at USDA and other federal agencies that support workforce development in rural communities and features examples of how customers have used USDA programs to support four key assistance types: workforce development planning; infrastructure and equipment financing; industry and employer engagement, entrepreneurship, and local business development; and education, training and apprenticeship. Access the resource guide here.

Finally, USDA is accepting applications for grants to help very small communities expand or improve water or waste disposal systems. Instead of providing grants directly to individuals, businesses, or communities, the Water and Wastewater Revolving Funds Program allows state and local government entities and private nonprofits to use the grants to establish lending programs to help expand or improve water and waste disposal systems in rural communities with a population of 10,000 or less. The revolving loan funds may provide individual loans of up to $200,000 for a maximum term of 10 years. The loans can be used for pre-development planning costs and for short-term or small capital improvement projects that are not part of the regular operation and maintenance of the water or waste system. Applications must be submitted electronically through no later than 9:00 p.m. PT on July 16, 2021. o later than 9:00 p.m. PT on July 16, 2021.

Grant Opportunities

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111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139

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