The mission of the Rural Community Block Grant program is to provide funds to distressed rural areas for building public infrastructure in support of economic expansion and job creation. Created by the Idaho State Legislature in 2001, this state-funded grant program is a component of the Rural Initiative.

Eligible Applicants

  • Cities with a population of less than 25,000 or for projects that have a measurable rural benefit—the sole beneficiary of the project cannot be a large city.
  • Counties may apply for countywide projects that have a measurable rural benefit – the sole beneficiary of the project cannot be a large city.
  • Indian Tribes may apply if the project site is located on reservation land and within a community of less than 25,000 or the project has a measurable rural benefit and the sole beneficiary of the project cannot be a large city.

The three eligible applicants categories may sub-grant Rural Community Block Grant funds to an eligible and Idaho Commerce approved sub-recipient.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include extension of streets, water and sewer lines, and/or utilities to a site for a new business or industrial park; acquisition or construction of buildings for lease or purchase by a company; and provision of telecommunications, power, gas, and rail upgrades necessary for business expansions. City halls and schools are not eligible.

Grant Size: Grant limits are $50,000 to $500,000.

Local Match: Local match is required, but there is no set amount.

Evaluation Criteria: Applications will be evaluated on the impact to distressed areas. Other evaluation factors include the number and quality of jobs created by the project, long-term economic impact, community support, and project financing and readiness.

Grant Resources

RCBG Handbook

Additional Information

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