Created by the Idaho State Legislature in 2001 under the auspices of the Rural Initiative, the Idaho Gem Grant Program (IGG) provides assistance to rural communities for the planning and implementation of economic development projects.


Eligible Applicants

The program is open to any rural community with a population of 10,000 persons or less. Applications must be submitted by a city, county or tribal government. As of 2005, a community is no longer required to be a designated “Gem Community” to be eligible for an Idaho Gem Grant.

Eligible Activities

Idaho Gem Grants are focused on job creation and retention and awards are limited to the hard implementation costs of economic development projects. Examples of eligible projects include water and sewer infrastructure for new a business, remediation of slum and blight conditions blocking business development, and matching funds for the creation of assets with a high certainty of aiding future economic development efforts. The range of eligible projects is broad. Gem Grants may not be used for ongoing overhead, operating costs, or staff costs. In addition, funds shall not be used for the construction, rehabilitation, or operation of active churches, schools, general government facilities, jails or state facilities; nor shall they be used for political activities.

Grant Size: Grants of up to $50,000 may be awarded to eligible communities for the purpose of developing assets directly connected to private sector job creation. While Grants may be awarded for a maximum of $50,000, the Department will be looking favorably at applications demonstrating fiscal responsibility and conservatism.

Application Deadlines

Idaho Gem Grant applications will be accepted online and are reviewed on a quarterly basis, or at any time that the Director of Idaho Commerce determines it necessary to take advantage of special opportunities that further the primary objectives of the IGG program. Current deadlines are the third Monday in March, June, September, and December:

IGG grant applications must be submitted online via the Idaho Commerce grant portal. Please contact us to request access to the Idaho Commerce grant portal.

Grant Resources

Additional Information

All potential applicants are encouraged to contact Idaho Commerce prior to preparing and submitting an application. Please contact us for additional information.