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Northern Border Regional Commission

2024 CATALYST PROGRAM OVERVIEW RELEASED - NBRC is making up to $50M available through the Catalyst Program in 2024. The Catalyst Program will hold two funding rounds with up to $30M available in the spring round and up to $20M available in the fall round.

2024 FOREST ECONOMY PROGRAM - NBRC is making an estimated $4M available in two rounds of funding.

2024 TIMBER FOR TRANSIT PROGRAM - NBRC is making $25M available through the new Timber for Transit Program. 

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a Federal-State partnership that invests in community and economic development projects in economically distressed counties across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. 

Information regarding the Northern Border Regional Commission and grant opportunities including the annual distress criteria and match requirements, program overviews, maximum award amounts, eligibility criteria, allowable uses, prior awards, and competition timelines can be found on the NBRC website. Information regarding prior NBRC investments in Vermont can be found on the Vermont NBRC page

It is strongly recommended that Vermont applicants for NBRC funding contact Kristie Farnham about their projects in advance of submitting an application; she can be reached by email at


Annually, Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) in Vermont compile Regional Project Prioritization lists for their region. These lists help to identify high priority projects for NBRC investment.

Regional Project Prioritization (RPP) lists are developed annually by Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) to identify projects of priority and importance in the region using input from Regional Planning Commissions, municipalities, partners, and communities. Input is gathered through wide engagement via newsletters, public meetings, and convenings. The State of Vermont hopes that the information provided in the Regional Project Prioritization lists will prove useful when considering federal and state funding sources and community planning processes. To see which projects have been identified as priorities by the 12 RDCs, please download the RPP List (Microsoft Excel File posted 7/12/24).

The 12 RDCs in Vermont adhere to a fair and neutral Regional Priority Project Process to solicit projects for identification as a Regional Priority Project. Projects identified in the Regional Project Prioritization lists may support business retention and expansion, create programs that encourage job creation and workforce development, expand access to high-speed broadband, and implement new or innovative economic development practices. 

NBRC State Capacity grant funding supports the efforts of the RDCs to develop Regional Priority Project lists. To discuss a potential project for consideration in your region, please contact your local Regional Development Corporation.

    CATALYST PROGRAM (Formerly EID and IIJA): 

    The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Catalyst Program supports the mission of the NBRC to fund economic development and infrastructure projects throughout designated counties in its four-state service area. The NBRC partnership provides investments to job-creating projects that help reduce poverty, unemployment, and outmigration.  NBRC investment funds originate from the Federal Government but are approved by the Federal Government’s NBRC representative (Federal Co-Chair) and the Governors of the four States. Competitions will be announced as funding is available. Typically, Notices of Funding Opportunities are announced in the spring annually. Eligible organizations, which include nonprofit and governmental entities (state, local & Indian tribes), may access grant application forms online. Please find more Catalyst Program information here including the NBRC manual and Vermont scoring criteria.

    Successful projects support a broad range of economic development initiatives such as, but not limited to, projects that modernize and expand access to public water and wastewater services, revitalize transportation infrastructure, establish workforce development programs and facilities, grow the outdoor recreation economy, and provide access to new childcare and healthcare facilities.

    FOREST ECONOMY PROGRAM (FEP) (Formerly known as RFEP):

    The purpose of this program is to support the forest-based economy, and to assist in the industry’s evolution to include new technologies and viable business models across the four-state NBRC region.

    Information regarding the FEP program, including the program overviews, maximum award amounts, eligibility criteria, allowable uses, prior awards, and competition timelines can be found on the NBRC FEP website. Information regarding prior NBRC investments in Vermont can be found on this list of Regional Forest Economy Partnership Awards

    Whether funded directly or through partnerships, funds will be awarded to support projects in the forest economy, which may include one (or multiple) of the following:

    • Community development projects
    • Workforce [re] training and development projects
    • Marketing/communication and education projects
    • Business planning and technical assistance projects
    • Public infrastructure projects


    The Timber for Transit Program is designed to advance the use of domestic forest products in transportation infrastructure projects to showcase the capabilities of wood. Highly competitive projects will demonstrate and widely promote the utility of high value forest products which commit to enhancing climate resilience in rural communities. 

    Preference will be given to proposals that:

    • Commit to utilizing domestically sourced timber
    • Demonstrate evidence of planning for climate resiliency, including but not limited to carbon capture, increased frequency and intensity of storm events, and sea level rise
    • Utilize projects as a tool for university and industry education and training
    • Demonstrates alignment with state and community initiatives
    • Include promotion/publication/marketing as part of their project deliverables
    • Support, benefit, or engage communities that are historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by poverty or inequality (pursuant to Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government)

    More details on Timber for Transit can be found on the NBRC website.


    • State governments of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York
    • Local governments (village, town, city, and county)
    • Other political subdivisions of States (regional planning commissions, authorities of the state)
    • Indian Tribes: § 200.54 Indian tribe (or “federally recognized Indian tribe”). Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. Chapter 33), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians (25 U.S.C. 450b(e)). See annually published Bureau of Indian Affairs list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services.
    • Non-profit entities. The term ‘nonprofit entity’ means any organization described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation under 501(a) of that Code. The non-profit entity must be able to demonstrate they have federal grant experience and organizational capacity related to economic development.
    • Institutions of Higher Education (must be able to demonstrate existing industry partnerships) in Forest Economy Program Only



    RPP LIST (Excel file)


    Vermont applications are reviewed, scored, and prioritized by the State of Vermont. These efforts are coordinated by State Program Manager Kristie Farnham. Resulting grant awards are managed by NBRC.

    It is strongly recommended that Vermont applicants for NBRC funding contact Kristie Farnham about their projects in advance of submitting an application; she can be reached by email at