RDO COVID-19 Resource Center

Posted on: March 20th, 2020 by Brett Schwartz

(Last updated February 12, 2021)

As we adjust to life with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NADO and NADO Research Foundation staff are working to advocate on your behalf, connect you with each other, and collect the latest information and best practices from RDOs to share across our membership.  This page was created to keep RDOs up-to-date on the latest information relevant to your work as well as provide links to other resources and materials that may be valuable as you respond to the needs of your communities.

Feel free to reach out to NADO and NADO RF staff with any questions or comments.  Please continue to check back often for updates.

Advocacy Updates

RLF Act of 2020 Becomes Law  

On Friday October 30, the President signed the Reinvigorating Lending for the Future (RLF) Act of 2020 (S. 4075) into law. This legislation reforms the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program by eliminating burdensome “in perpetuity” reporting requirements and releasing the federal interest in EDA RLFs after seven years, thereby providing more local flexibility to RLF operators as they administer this program on behalf of their communities. Now that the bill has been signed into law, EDA will be permitted to release the federal interest in RLFs that have operated satisfactorily for seven years since the disbursement of grant funds. EDA is currently developing policies and procedures to implement this law, so please look out for more information coming directly from EDA on exactly how this process will work. NADO is grateful to all the NADO members, coalition partners, and other advocates who engaged members of Congress and helped advocate for this reform, as well as the Senate and House champions who introduced and supported this legislation, and the congressional staffers who helped facilitate the process.

EDA COVID-19 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Addendum Released 

On Thursday, May 7 the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) addendum and related guidance determining how EDA will administer the $1.5 billion that EDA received in the CARES Act. The NOFO addendum can be found here. Specifically, the guidance pertaining to this competitive EDA funding is attached as a five-page addendum added at the bottom of the existing FY 2020 EDA NOFO. Other general information on this funding opportunity is also available at https://www.eda.gov/coronavirus/, and EDA has also provided answers to FAQs as well as guidance on how EDA will provide flexibilities for EDA RLF operators.

NADO Successfully Advocates for $1.5 Billion in Funding for EDA in the CARES Act

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) was signed into law. The legislation aims to address and mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide economic relief for individuals, businesses, cities, and states. In addition to a variety of other sources of federal funding, the bill includes $1.5 billion in supplemental funding for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which NADO and other partner organizations successfully advocated to include. The CARES Act is the third tranche of funding passed in response to COVID-19, following the passage of HR 6074 and HR 6201. A summary of the funding breakdown in the CARES Act can be found here.

For more information or to provide your input, please contact Mirielle Burgoyne, Director of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs, at 202-921-4443 or [email protected]

Federal Agency COVID-19 Resources

NADO Member COVID-19 Resources

Below are examples of NADO member websites with special COVID-19 pages that feature resource guides and regional response efforts.  If your organization has a page that you would like featured here, please e-mail Brett Schwartz at [email protected].

National Partner COVID-19 Resources

Below are links to COVID-19 specific resources from national partner organizations.  If your organization has a resource page that you would like featured here, please e-mail Brett Schwartz at [email protected].

OMB Guidance to Federal Grantor Agencies

In recognition of the COVID-19 public health situation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued recent guidance to the federal grantor agencies related to administrative flexibility. There are a number of administrative measures that federal agencies can take to relieve grantees of certain responsibilities. This is time limited-guidance; in the near term, federal agencies have this authority. NADO members who administer direct federal grants should be aware of these procedures and should be prepared to ask their federal grantor agencies to implement them on their awards. For more information, please see OMB Memorandum 20-17, issued on 3/19/20, linked here.

State-by-State Actions/Essential vs. Non-Essential Workforce Guidance

Philanthropic Resources for Communities

The 2020 TD Ready Challenge seeks to provide financial support to organizations that have designed innovative, scalable and/or replicable solutions to help address the pandemic-caused issues faced by communities that are experiencing disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 across North America. Solutions must address at least one (but can address more) of the four interconnected drivers of change of the TD Ready Commitment (Financial SecurityVibrant PlanetConnected Communities and Better Health).  Click here to learn more information.  The deadline is August 13, 2020.

Commentary from the Daily Yonder:  “The Potential of Rural Philanthropy during COVID-19.”  Click here to read the article.   

The Philanthropy Roundtable created a resource page that provides information about private foundations that are making funds available for various aspects of the COVID-19 response.  Click here for more information.

The Council on Foundations has created a resource of community, regional and global foundations that have funds for COVID-19 relief. You can access the list here. The Council on Foundations includes grantmakers of all sizes, focus areas, and geographic representation.

The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has committed $1 million to aid COVID-19 relief efforts. Of the $1 million commitment, $250,000 will go to the American Red Cross as it continues to mobilize efforts to respond to the outbreak, and the remaining $750,000 will provide funding to nonprofits addressing direct needs in the communities across the Dominion Energy footprint, with a primary focus on those areas that are home to the more than 7 million retail customers Dominion Energy serves.  Grants to organizations serving local communities should help immediate human needs as dictated by response plans and may vary based on unique local needs in a dynamic environment.  Click here for more information.

Main Street America is regularly updating a list of funding programs & business support opportunities. Programs include SBA, Facebook, JP Morgan, Kabbage, The James Beard Foundation, MainVest, and Opportunity Fund program. Scroll down on Main Street America’s COVID-19 Resource page to learn more.

Facebook launched the Facebook Small Business Grants Program to provide $1 million in grants and ad credits to up to thirty thousand small businesses in more than thirty countries to help them weather the disruptions resulting from the growing global crisis. Eligible companies will be able to apply in the coming weeks for funds that can be used to maintain their workforce, help with rent, connect with more customers, and/or cover their operational costs.  The company also launched a Business Resource Hub that provides business-focused information about how to cope with the effect of the pandemic as well as a “quick action guide” and a “resilience toolkit” featuring best practices and a self-assessment tool.

Bank of America has announced a $100 million commitment in support of communities facing unprecedented challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.  The majority of the funds will be used to increase medical response capacity, address food insecurity, and boost access to learning during school closures in local BofA markets, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations. The bank also plans to increase its funding to national and global organizations working on the frontlines of the pandemic in local communities.

Grant Station has compiled a comprehensive list of philanthropic resources available globally. Programs with a nationwide scope include Dunkin’ Joy (assistance to health/hunger relief nonprofits) and MusiCares (income assistance for musicians). Many other state, regional, and local philanthropic programs are also listed.

NADO RF Economic Resilience Resources

Click the links below to access a sample of NADO Research Foundation case studies, webinars, reports, and videos that address economic resilience, diversification planning, and much more.  Additional resources are available at www.CEDSCentral.com and www.ruraltransportation.org.

The views, opinions, and suggestions expressed by other organizations or outside publications referenced on this page do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of NADO, the NADO Research Foundation, and NADO members.  

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