The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Office of Rural Development, announced two new grant programs to serve rural organizations and businesses.

Starting July 1, 2019, organizations (nonprofits and divisions of higher education) and businesses in Utah’s rural communities can apply for the Rural Coworking and Innovation Center Grant and the Rural Rapid Manufacturing Grant programs. These programs were approved in the 2019 legislative session and will enable rural communities to further prosper.

“These two new programs are both aimed at supporting businesses. Supporting and expanding businesses, while attracting new businesses, contributes to economic development in key ways.  I look forward to working with our communities to use these new tools in the toolbox,” says Ginger Chinn, managing director for urban and rural business services.

Highlights of the grant programs include:

Rural Rapid Manufacturing Grant

The state allocated $500,000 — a one-time appropriation for this grant, beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2020.  Developed by Rep. Christine Watkins and Sen. David Hinkins, the grant will assist in the establishment of laboratories designed to train students and employees, build and improve equipment and offer scholarships.

Applications will be received July 1 through September 1, 2019, and projects must be completed within 18 months.

Applicants must submit an application that is reviewed and then scored.

Rural Coworking and Innovation Center Grant

The state allocated $500,000 per fiscal year (July 1 through June 31) for this program. The Rural Online Working Hubs Grant Advisory Committee, will advise and make recommendations to the Office of Rural Development on grant awards.

This grant program, authored by Rep. Carl Albrecht and Sen. Ralph Okerlund, will assist in creating facilities that provide individuals working in rural communities with infrastructure and equipment to participate in the online workforce.

Qualifying activities include:

  • Construction or renovation of a facility.
  • Extending and/or improving utilities and broadband service connections.
  • Purchasing equipment, furniture, and security systems.

To learn more about these programs visit the Office of Rural Development website.