Resources

Resource Index

 

PENNDOT SEEKING VOLUNTEERS FOR PILOT STUDY ON MILEAGE-BASED USER FEE
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is seeking volunteers to participate in a mileage-based user fee pilot program. PennDOT is participating in the program, which is sponsored by the Eastern Transportation Coalition (formerly the I-95 Corridor Coalition), to test the practicality of a mileage-based user fee, an approach that would charge motorists for the mileage they travel on public roadways, instead of the fuel they consume. Congress has instructed the states to test new funding approaches that could ensure future resources for transportation system needs, and Pennsylvania is doing its part by participating in this pilot program. Volunteers will be asked to register for a plug-in mileage-recording device. They will then receive artificial bills during the pilot; however, no one will be charged a fee and no money will be exchanged. The purpose is to simulate a mileage-based user fee process to test how well the technology and support system operates, and to evaluate the program’s implications in rural areas with rural drivers. For more information on the pilot program, click here. To volunteer for the pilot, email Emily Watts at ewatts@pa.gov.

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PA APA ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR GREAT PLACES IN PA
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association is seeking nominations for Great Public Spaces and Great Neighborhoods for it’s Great Places in PA program. If you know a special public space or neighborhood that displays a wealth of best practices in community planning and serves as a model for other communities, nominate it by clicking here.  The nominations deadline is August 31. For more information, click here.

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GRANTS AVAILABLE THROUGH SELF-HELP HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is accepting applications for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). The program provides grant funds to eligible national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia to purchase home sites and develop or improve the infrastructure needed to set the stage for sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income persons and families. HUD is making $10,000,000 of FY 2020 SHOP Program grant funds available to national and regional nonprofit organizations. The application deadline is August 18. Click here for more information.

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CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR FARMERS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19. Click here for more information. 

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TAKE THE SURVEY TO HELP DCNR CREATE FORESTRY STRATEGIC PLAN
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry is writing a new Strategic Plan that will set the bureau’s mission and overarching goals. The plan guides how the bureau provides leadership in forest management and conservation on both public and private lands in rural and urban areas. The survey will provide important information to the new plan. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Click here to take the survey.

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PA SMALL BUSINESS GRANT TO OFFSET LOST REVENUE
The COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19. This is not a first-come, first-served program. There will be multiple rounds of application windows. The application window for the first round of funding is expected to open on June 30 and remain open for 10 business days. Applications will continue to be accepted after 10 business days but will be considered for future rounds of funding. Additional rounds will be announced soon. Click here for more information.

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APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR CONSERVATION EXCELLENCE GRANT PROGRAM BEGINNING JULY 1
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will be accepting applications for the Conservation Excellence Grant Program (CEG Program) beginning July 1. The program provides financial and technical assistance for the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural operations in high-priority locations within Pennsylvania through grants, loans and tax credits, or a combination of all three. Eligible projects include: fencing to keep livestock out of streams; streambank restoration; cover crops; planting streamside buffers; manure storage; and nutrient management plans. Priority counties include: Tier 1: Lancaster & York; Tier 2: Bedford, Centre, Cumberland, Franklin, & Lebanon; Tier 3: Adams, Bradford, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, Susquehanna, & Tioga. Click here for more information.

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TAKE THE SURVEY TO HELP CREATE STATE PLAN ON AGING
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) creates a State Plan on Aging every 4 years to provide a vision and direction for Pennsylvania's network of aging services. The current state plan is effective through September 30, 2020, so the process has begun to shape and develop the next State Plan on Aging for Pennsylvania. The department begins this process by receiving input on what needs to improve and learning more about the people it serves by gathering feedback from the entire spectrum of stakeholders – department staff, consumers of services, caregivers, professionals, and anyone who has an interest in the future of aging services. All interested Pennsylvania residents are asked to provide their input on the department’s services and the various issues affecting older adults so they can be considered in the state planning process. Take the survey online by clicking here, or take the survey by calling (717) 783-1550. Simply leave a message with your contact information, stating you would like to participate in the 'State Plan on Aging Community Survey' and a staff member will contact you.

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NOMINATIONS ACCEPTED FOR 2020 RURAL HEALTH AWARDS
The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health is accepting nominations for the 2020 Rural Health Awards. The 2020 Rural Health Awards will be presented in the honoree's community during Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania, November 16-20, 2020, which encompasses National Rural Health Day, November 19, 2020.  PORH will begin accepting award nominations on June 29, 2020. The deadline for submissions is September 11, 2020. Nominations for the following categories will be accepted: State Rural Health Leader of the Year; Community Rural Health Leader of the Year; Rural Health Program of the Year; Legislator of the Year; and Rural Health Hero of the Year. The nomination form can be completed here under the "Awards" menu.  

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2021 RX SUMMIT CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
HMP's Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Learning Network has issued a call for presentations for the 2021 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which will be held April 5-8 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Presentation proposals can be submitted for a breakout session (75-minute education session), the poster hall, or both. There is a limit of three presentation proposals per submitter. The deadline to submit a proposal is August 28. Click here to submit a proposal.

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EDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR $1.5 BILLION TO RESPOND TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting applications for EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program, which will provide $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus. The application deadline is ongoing. Click here for more information.

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CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR AG PRODUCERS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5 percent or greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs. The application deadline is August 28. Click here for more information.

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GRANT GUIDE FOR RURAL AREAS
The National Association of Towns and Townships has released, Rural Grant Guide: Grants to Support Projects in Rural Areas. The guide identifies potential funding opportunities to support community development, healthcare, broadband and energy, and water and wastewater projects in rural areas. These opportunities prioritize evidence-based, cost-effective programs for many of the most pressing issues that face rural communities. Click here for the guide.

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INTERACTIVE TOOL PROVIDES DATA ON CONSUMER CREDIT CONDITIONS
The Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia has announced that the Consumer Credit Explorer has been updated through the fourth quarter of 2019. The Consumer Credit Explorer uses data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel. This interactive tool is the only source of comprehensive, regional data on consumer credit conditions available to the public. The new quarters of data offer insights into the financial condition of consumers as they entered 2020.

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PASA SEEKING PRESENTERS FOR 2021 SUSTAINABLE AG CONFERENCE
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is seeking presenters for the 2021 Sustainable Agriculture Conference. PASA is closely monitoring coronavirus mitigation efforts and public health guidelines to determine whether its conference can happen in-person or if it will need to be a virtual event. During the proposal submission process, presenters should indicate if their session(s) can only be offered in-person, virtually, or both. If held in-person, the conference is scheduled for February 3–6, 2021 in Lancaster, Pa., at the Lancaster County Convention Center. If held virtually, the conference dates will be adjusted to allow it to take place over an extended period of time, rather than condensed into four days. Click here for more information.

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PA DEPARTMENT OF AG CONFIRMS STATE'S FIRST SPOTTED LANTERNFLY HATCH, ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO BE VIGILANT
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reported the first confirmed Spotted Lanternfly hatch of the year in late April. The first-instar nymph was located by a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee in western Philadelphia, near the University of Pennsylvania/Drexel University. The majority of Spotted Lanternfly hatches begin in southern Pennsylvania in mid to late April, with a lag in timing for Pennsylvania's more northern counties. As the first instars of Spotted Lanternfly hatch from eggs, they instantly seek tender plant tissue to feed. The Spotted Lanternfly is capable of decimating entire grape vineyards and damaging fruit orchards, hops, walnuts, hardwoods and decorative trees. In addition to endangering agriculture, this bad bug threatens the public’s ability to enjoy the outdoors during spring and summer months, as the bugs are known to swarm in the air, cover trees, and coat decks and play equipment with their excrement, known as honeydew. Scraping egg masses is the most efficient way to kill 30-50 of the invasive pests at once. If you discover Spotted Lanternfly egg masses, scrape them off using a putty knife, credit card, or other firm, blunt-edged tool. Penn State Extension has a helpful tutorial here on how to destroy egg masses. Currently, 26 Pennsylvania counties are in quarantine for this invasive pest. If you scrape an egg mass or squash a Spotted Lanternfly, always report your sighting here, or by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY. For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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RHIHUB RURAL RESOURCES FOR COVID-19
Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) had developed an online guide to provide information about activities underway to address COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Federal and state agencies, along with national organizations, are sharing resources and guidelines to help all communities and healthcare facilities, including rural areas, respond to this issue. Visit www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/covid-19 for the latest information.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FOR RURAL RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has taken several immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit USDA Rural Development’s webpage for more information on housing, business, and infrastructure grants, loans and assistance.

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CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT LOANS
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundationhas announced emergency loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to eligible organizations.  Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Click here for a guide, Questions & Answers to some frequently asked questions, and more information on this relief measure.

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NATIONAL DISLOCATED WORKER GRANT FUNDING
The U.S. Department of Labor is offering National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to address the emergency response to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor Employment Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) provide resources to states and other eligible applicants to respond to major economic dislocations, such as large, unexpected layoff events that cause significant job losses. Applications are accepted at any time, provided appropriated funding for the program is available. Click here for application guidelines.

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HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION'S COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS PROGRAM
Home Depot Foundation is offering grants through it Impact Grants Program to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve their communities. The program focuses on support for organizations that serve veterans in local communities, as well as organizations that serve diverse and underserved communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31. Visit the foundation's website to submit an online application.

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COVID-19 INFORMATION FROM PA STATE AGENCIES AND PA ATTORNEY GENERAL
Click the links for information on COVID-19 from these Pennsylvania state agencies, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Department of Aging, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services,  Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

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PA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO OPERATE DISASTER HOUSEHOLD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has received federal approval to operate a Disaster Household Distribution program, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), to provide critical food supplies to Pennsylvanians adversely affected as a result of statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. On March 28, the department received approval to use U.S. Department of Agriculture foods as part of a Disaster Household Distribution program being operated through the state’s network of food banks, food pantries, and pop-up distribution sites. The approval allows the department and its partners to more efficiently distribute a variety of foods – including meats, vegetables, fruit, canned goods, cereal, rice, pasta, eggs, and more – to those most affected by the closure of non-life sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania. Click here for more information.

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NEW GUIDEBOOK ASSISTS RURAL LEADERS WITH RESPONSE TO CRISIS OF ADDICTION
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has released a new guidebook to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction. The Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities provides rural leaders with information they can put into immediate action to create change. It provides background information, recommended action steps, and promising practices to help manage the impact of substance use disorder on local communities and help persons with the disease of addiction. The topics are based on lessons learned from Department of Agriculture rural roundtable discussions held in over a dozen states, as well as the experiences of several rural stakeholder partners.  

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JOBS AVAILABLE WITH 2020 CENSUS
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. A variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff, are available. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Candidates must complete an online job application, which includes assessment questions about your education, work, and other experience. For more information or to apply, click here.

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SMALL GRANTS AVAILABLE FROM CLIF BAR FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Clif Bar Family Foundation is offering grants through the Small Grants Program to nonprofit grassroots organizations that have the ability to engage local groups, positively impact their communities, and focus most of their resources on useful and positive actions. Through the Small Grants Program, the foundation supports innovative small and mid-sized groups working to protect the Earth’s beauty and bounty, create a healthy food system, increase opportunities for outdoor activity, reduce environmental health hazards, and build stronger communities. The application deadlines are February 1, June 1 and October 1. Click here for more information.

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2019-2020 PENNSYLVANIA GRANT AND RESOURCE DIRECTORY AVAILABLE
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus has released the 2019-2020 Pennsylvania Grant and Resource Directory. The directory includes a general overview of state government programs, including grants and resources, along with contact information. The directory also includes a list of online grant writing guides and a list of Pennsylvania Community Foundations. Click here for a copy of the directory.

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PA FARM LINK DATABASE HELPS KEEP PA LAND IN AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is one of Pennsylvania's top industries and it’s important to keep land in agriculture production and help the next generation keep it alive and thriving, Pennsylvania Farm Link offers an online database of farming opportunities for the next generation. There is a one-time fee of $100 to list on the database. Farmer information is kept completely confidential until famers decide they are ready to meet the interested farmer or landowner. Visit the PA Farm Link website at www.pafarmlink.org and click on either the "Find A Farm" or "Find A Farmer" tab to see what is currently available. For more information call (717) 705-2121 or email farmland@pafarmlink.org.

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ANGEL FLIGHT’S FREE, NON-EMERGENCY AIR TRAVEL FOR RUAL CHILDREN AND ADULTS
Angel Flight East (AFE), founded in Pennsylvania by Harry Morales, a general aviation pilot, is dedicated to rural health by facilitating free air transportation to children and adults in need of medical treatment far from home. AFE is based in Montgomery County, Pa., and serves the Northeast United States. While AFE flies patients from all over a 14-state territory, it has seen an even greater need for patients living in rural areas and those with rare medical conditions who often have to travel far distances for treatment. For more information, click here.

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STRENGTHENING RURAL AMERICA’S RURAL INNOVATION INFRASTRUCTURE
The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group has released a new report called "Strengthening Rural America's Rural Innovation Infrastructure." This report focuses on the role, and aggregates the wisdom, of a specific set of intermediaries, called Rural Development Hubs, that are “doing development differently” in rural America. The report focuses on these Hubs because they are main players in advancing an asset-based, wealth-building, approach to rural community and economic development across the country. For a copy of the report, click here.

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AMERICA WALKS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
America Walks is now offering more intensive, Technical Assistance (T.A.) solutions to government, non-profit, and business clients. With more than 20 years of experience in advocacy campaigns and policy development, America Walks' T.A. program is based on proven strategies for engaging community stakeholders, building local walking movements, and developing the political will that leads to positive change. Click here for more information.

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DOWNLOAD TESTIT, THE RURAL BROADBAND MAPPING APP
To continue gathering data about broadband availability and speed, the National Association of Counties (NACo), Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Rural LISC), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) have created a mobile app that allows individual users to accurately identify areas with low or no broadband connectivity. The data from the app are aggregated to identify gaps in broadband coverage, help guide advocacy for adequate funding, and inform decision-making at federal, state, and local levels. To date, the mobile app has been downloaded 4,500 times and 190,000 tests have been run. To download the app, click here. Click here for the link to a one page description of the app. Click here to see the state data collected so far.

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PA DHS AND AGING ANNOUNCE KINCONNECTOR HELPLINE
The Pennsylvania Departments of Human Services and Aging have announced a new KinConnector helpline for families in kinship care situations, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings raising children because of the opioid crisis. The KinConnector helpline connects families with available resources such as: health, financial, and legal services; training; parenting advice; locating physical or behavioral health services; school enrollment; support groups; and other services designed to help caregivers. Navigators will also be available to help families apply for federal, state, and local benefits. To reach KinConnector, call 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

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USDA TOOLKIT TO SUPPORT DEPLOYMENT OF HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. The e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, National Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service. The toolkit also highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities. Click here for the toolkit.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT LOANS AND GRANTS PROGRAMS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has the Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program and Loan Guarantees Program available. The Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program can provide funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. The Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program can help private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. To learn more about either of these programs, contact your local Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development office here.

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RURAL LISC FUNDING TO DEVELOP, IMPROVE COMMUNITY FACILITIES
Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is accepting applications for the Community Facilities Fund, which provides capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC uses this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. There is no application deadline. For more information, click here.

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PA’S ONE-STOP SHOP FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Looking for help to start your own business or expand your existing business? Visit Pennsylvania’s Business One-Stop Shop at www.business.pa.gov. The site provides information and resources for businesses both large and small, and serves as the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development concerns. The shop’s team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operating and expanding. Visit www.business.pa.gov or call (833) 722-6778.

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RURAL HEALTH INFORMATION HUB ONLINE
If you’re looking for an online source for current and reliable resources and tools on rural health needs and the work being done to address them, check out the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), formerly the Rural Assistance Center. RHIhub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. RHIhub also provides free assistance customized to your needs. Call (800) 270-1898 or email info@ruralhealthinfo.org.

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