Northern Border Regional Commission

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) invests in community and economic development projects in economically distressed counties across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. In Vermont, all 14 counties are included in the NBRC eligible service territory.

Municipalities, public and not-for-profit entities are eligible applicants. Applications for grant funding can focus on economic development projects in any of the following areas: 

•    Transportation infrastructure
•    Critical infrastructure / Construction
•    Telecommunications infrastructure (Broadband)
•    Workforce, businesses, entrepreneurial and technology development 
•    Resources and open space conservation, tourism and recreation
•    Renewable and alternative energy

Northern Border Regional Commission Announces 2020 Regional Forest Economy Partnership Grant Round

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) has announced the 2020 Regional Forest Economy Partnership (RFEP) grant application opportunity. Eligible organizations, which include nonprofit and governmental entities (state, local & Indian tribes), will be able to access grant application details beginning July 10th. Total funding available for the program is $4 Million, with a maximum award of $1 Million.  The full press release can be seen here:

Potential applicants are able to express interest through Letters of Interest, which must be submitted by August 28th. Letters of Interest will be evaluated by a 9 member Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from each of the four NBRC states. The Advisory Board will determine which applicants will be invited to submit a full application, which will be due October 30th, with anticipation of awards in December

The driving force behind the program is regional cooperation among the 4 member states. As such, multi-state applications will be prioritized in the scoring process. The purpose of the program is to assist rural communities in transitioning from a historic dependence on the forest-based economy to new opportunities for economic diversity and innovation. These opportunities tend to cluster around three strategies, which may or may not be considered mutually exclusive for purposes of a proposal:

1.    New technology and innovations that seek to find new uses for forest products, and evolve traditional forest economy business models into those that can create sustainable future commercial markets & opportunities. 
2.    Workforce re-training and development for the purpose of building the skills needed for forest products businesses. 
3.    New industries, or the expansion of current industries (e.g., outdoor recreation), that can provide employment and economic growth opportunities in formerly forest industry-dependent communities. 

COVID-19 Impacts
The RFEP opportunity in 2020 also focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (and resulting economic uncertainty) on communities in the NBRC region. As such, a fourth strategy considered in 2020 seeks proposals focused on collaborative, multi-state projects designed to address innovative solutions to structural weaknesses highlighted by the pandemic, and community efforts to recover economically.

For those considering applications in 2020, please contact NBRC Program Managers in the State(s) where the proposed project will occur.


2020 Economic & Infrastructure Development (EID) Grants

Timeline for 2020 NBRC Investments 

March 2: Application materials available on NBRC website.

March 12:  Informational sessions – see below.

March 31: Deadline for letters of notification.

April 6: Application portal live on NBRC website.

June 1 (5pm EST): Application deadline.

June 30: Previous awardees must have completed 75% of projects to be eligible for 2020 award.

August 10 – August 14: NBRC notification of awards & notice to unsuccessful applicants.

August 17 – September 11: NBRC grant agreement preparation & distribution.

Early October: Mandatory grant recipient workshop.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session:

March 5, 2020 - Londonderry @ Town Offices – 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon 

March 12, 2020 - Randolph @ Vermont Technical College, Langevin House  – 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon 

March 19, 2020 - Cancelled 

For an overview of the 2020 NBRC – EID funding round:

Click here for 2020 NBRC VT overview presentation. 

Governor Scott is represented on the Commission by his chosen Alternate, Ted Brady, Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development.  

If you have any questions about the Northern Border Regional Commission, please contact Vermont’s NBRC Program Manager, Kristie Farnham. 

Contact Us

Kristie Farnham, Director of Business Support

One National Life Drive
Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT  05620-0501

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