Federal grants available for N.H.’s economically distressed counties

Federal grant applications are now being accepted for projects that promote economic development and job growth in New Hampshire’s beleaguered North Country. But the Granite state may only get a fifth of the pot.The $1.25 million in federal funds is available to eligible applicants in four states through the Northern Border Regional Commission, which was created to stimulate job growth in economically distressed regions of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.In New Hampshire, all of Coos County is eligible, along with certain census tracts in Carroll, Grafton and Sullivan counties. The commission began accepting applications Aug. 1 and the deadline for submissions is Aug. 29. The NBRC hopes to award the funds by Sept. 30.Eligible projects include those that develop regional infrastructure or renewable energy resources, provide health care or other public services, promote resources conservation, tourism and recreation, or provide job skills and employment-related education.George Bald, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, said in an email that New Hampshire is expected to receive one grant, which will not likely exceed $225,000.The commission, which was established in 2008 as part of the federal Farm Bill, awarded seven grants totaling $1.3 million in 2010, which legislators said saved or created 700 jobs.Those interesting in applying for a grant should contact the North Country Council at 603-444-6303. –KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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