Rural Economic Development Initiative

  • Hardwick barns economic development proposed site
    For a proposed economic development initiative on the site of the former Greensboro Garage (the existing yellow barn in the architectural rendering, above), VHCB staff assisted the Town of Hardwick to identify possible federal funding sources for the development of a multi-use business incubator and manufacturing facility, including a USDA-RD Rural Business Development Grant.

    The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), a program of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, helps rural communities access the funding they need for community and business development.

    REDI provides grant writing assistance to rural communities and small businesses interested in applying for federal funds and other funding sources when applicable. Funds can be used to hire a grant writer, complete a necessary step to make a grant application more competitive (such as a business plan or engineering), and in some cases to help make a fundraising plan for a project. 

    The focus of REDI is on working lands projects (such as dairy processing, value-added food enterprises, phosphorus removal technology, and composting facilities), outdoor recreation projects, and community-based economic development (such as historic preservation projects). Funding is targeted to small communities, so projects should be located in or serving communities under 5,000 in population. It is intended to complement and support the assistance the Regional Development Corporations and Regional Planning Commissions already provide.

    For more information and to discuss potential projects, please get in touch with Mariah Noth (contact information at right).

    REDI Information sheet

  • Recent projects

    • Yellow Barn Project, Hardwick – The Town of Hardwick received support to fundraise for the development of a multi-use business incubator and manufacturing facility from several federal sources including a USDA-Rural Development (RD) Rural Business Development Grant.
    • Windham County Solid Waste Management District, Brattleboro and surrounding towns – REDI supported an application to the USDA-RD Community Facilities Grant Program to acquire equipment for expanding composting infrastructure to meet Act 148 requirements.
    • Pownal Trails Association & Empower Pownal Recreation task force – REDI funds supported a Recreation Trails Program grant application to develop a trail and recreation site on the Hoosic River.
    • Runamok Maple, Cambridge - Funding from REDI assisted Runamok with an application to the USDA-RD Value Added Producer Grant to expand the business and move production from Brattleboro to Fairfax. 
    • Clemmons Family Farm, Charlotte – Grant writing support enabled the farm to receive a $350,000 grant from the nationally competitive ArtPlace America Grant program to establish an arts & cultural center on the farm focused on African American heritage.