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Suzette's Letter, June 21, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Incomes remained lower for the poorest rural families with children in 2014

By 2014, average income (adjusted for inflation) for all U.S. families with children exceeded prerecession levels, and average income had almost completely recovered for all rural families with children as well. For the bottom 25 percent of rural families (when ranked by income), however, average income remained considerably below its prior peak. In 2003, the average income for families in this lowest income quartile was $17,200 (in 2014 dollars) and it fell by 6.0 percent between 2003 and 2007, despite the fact that the U.S. economy was growing. Not surprisingly, incomes for the bottom quartile fell by another 4.6 percent between 2007 and 2010, due to the Great Recession (December 2007-June 2009). When economic growth resumed, however, it did not immediately translate into growth for these low-income rural families: by 2012, their average income had fallen by another 10.1 percent. Average income for the bottom quartile rebounded somewhat between 2012 and 2014, but remained 13.4 percent below the 2003 level.

  1. The Opioid Epidemic: Rural Organizations Fight Back
    by Zachary Toliver
    The initial shock of the opioid epidemic is settling, and rural communities have identified several avenues to combat opioid addiction. Rural organizations are implementing innovative solutions to shrink the number of opioid overdoses, and many are finding that great success requires teamwork.

 

  1. Food-Related Practices and Beliefs of Rural US Elementary and Middle School Teachers
    Results of a study examining personal health and eating habits, classroom food practices, beliefs about the school food environment, and nutrition knowledge of 102 teachers from 8 rural school districts in northeastern Oregon.
    Author(s): Nancy E. Findholt, Betty T. Izumi, Jackilen Shannon, Thuan Nguyen
    Location: Rural and Remote Health, 16
    Date: 06/2016
  2. Health Insurance Marketplaces: Premium Trends in Rural Areas
    A policy brief analyzing the variation in the average Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) health insurance premiums from 2014 to 2015, without accounting for subsidies. Provides a discussion on the differences rural populations may be experiencing in HIM insurance premiums relative to their urban populations.
    Sponsoring organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2016
  3. Impact of the Affordable Care Act Coverage Expansion on Rural and Urban Populations
    A brief discussing the advances supported by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in health insurance coverage, premium tax credits, and healthcare access for rural and urban populations with a special focus on rural individuals.
    Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
    Date: 06/2016
  4. Innovation in Rural Health Care: Contemporary Efforts to Transform into High Performance Systems
    Provides themes and strategies focused on reducing the challenges related to healthcare innovation in rural areas based on discussions with rural and frontier innovators held September 2013 and July 2015. Includes a brief summary of programs and interventions developed by the rural and frontier organizations participating in these discussions.
    Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Value
    Date: 05/2016
  5. Medicaid Payment and Delivery System Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Health Systems
    An analysis of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on rural Medicaid programs across the U.S. Examines their acceptance of alternate payment models and their applications of delivery system reform. Provides policy recommendations supporting integrated and comprehensive primary care delivery, and rural participation in value-based payment and delivery system reforms.
    Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
    Date: 06/2016

 

  1. Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America's Economic Future

The Failure to Act report series from American Society of Civil Engineers answers this key question — how does the nation's failure to act to improve the condition of U.S. infrastructure systems affect the nation's economic performance?

EVENTS/LEARNING

  1. Understanding Revolving Loan Funds

An introductory overview of revolving loan fund and the economic development needs of communities and small businesses involved are outlined by Mark Barbash of CDFA in this presentation.

  1. FY 2016 Community Compass and Capacity Building Program NOFA Notices

The FY 2016 HUD Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Program NOFA, Funding Opportunity No.: 6000-N-06 webinar, related presentation slides, and FAQs are now available for HUD customers. Materials related to the HUD Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Program NOFA will be posted on the NOFA page on hud.gov. The webinar is located on HUD’s YouTube channel. Should you have difficulty viewing either of these, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more CED-related content please subscribe to the following:

Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

Cooperative Reports, Publications, and Statistics

Rural Cooperative Magazine

Placed Based Initiatives & Regional Programs

Community Economic Development

Suzette's Letter, June 10, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

Obama Administration Names Final Round of Promise Zone Communities

The Obama Administration today named the final nine Promise Zones across the country – high poverty areas in select urban, rural and tribal communities. Through the Promise Zone Initiative, the Federal government will work strategically with local leaders to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas.

  1. Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Nashville, Tennessee
  3. Evansville, Indiana
  4. South Los Angeles, California
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Southwest Florida Regional Planning Commission
  7. Spokane Tribe of Indians, Washington
  8. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Rolette County, North Dakota
  9. Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro traveled to Atlanta to make the announcement while U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new Promise Zone in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico on Friday.  In addition, a host of other senior Administration officials made individual announcements in the other Promise Zones.

 

Racial/ethnic diversity in rural America is increasing

Racial and ethnic minorities made up 21 percent of rural residents in 2014. Hispanics (who may be of any race) and Asians are the fastest growing minority groups in the United States as a whole and in rural areas. Over 2010-14, the rural Hispanic population increased 9.2 percent, and their share of the total rural population rose from 7.5 to 8.2 percent. Asians and Pacific Islanders represent a small share of the rural population—about 1 percent—but their population grew by 18 percent between 2010 and 2014, while rural Native American and Black populations grew at more modest rates. This is in contrast to the rural non-Hispanic White population, which declined by 1.7 percent between 2010 and 2014. Overall rural population loss (which was -0.2 percent for the period) would have been much higher if not for the growth in the rural racial and ethnic minority groups. Rural minorities tend to be younger on average and have larger families than non-Hispanic Whites, and this, along with net migration, is reflected in the varying growth rates.

 

Local Governments Cry Foul over Feds' Move to Limit Tax-Exempt Bonds

Public officials in Minnesota and across the nation are scrambling to head off a proposal they say would deliver a devastating blow to their ability to fund infrastructure and economic development projects.

 

Income Inequality: A Growing Threat to Eliminating Rural Child Poverty

No child in this country should grow up in poverty.  And as a new analysis by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) makes clear, to end that injustice we must do more to tackle growing income inequality.  The study found that rising income inequality explains an overwhelming 93 percent of the increase in rural child poverty between 2003 and 2014.  As the report notes, income inequality was considerably higher in 2014 than in 2003 in both urban and rural areas.  Over the past seven years, USDA and the Obama Administration’s work to bring economic opportunity to rural America has produced concrete results: rural areas are seeing income growth; two-thirds of rural communities have demonstrated job growth; and for the first time in years, rural areas are gaining population rather than losing residents.  But this new research on the pervasive effects of income inequality underscores that broader Administration priorities, like raising the minimum wage, must be part of any comprehensive approach to rural poverty.

 

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food May 2016 Newsletter

With the warmer weather, the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Initiative also brings warm greetings and many exciting announcements. At USDA, we just wrapped up KYF2/Organics Month, during which we launched a number of new local and regional food system activities and also enhanced our existing resources. The Department kicked off the month by publishing the latest installment of our Results project, summarizing the major achievements we’ve made on local and regional food systems since the founding of KYF2 in 2009.  And we launched a brand new version of our website.

 

New Tools Bring Lenders to the Table for Local, Regional Food Enterprises

USDA has joined forces with Wholesome Wave, a national non-profit working to increase affordable access to local produce, to offer free online interactive training to help funders of all stripes better understand what these food businesses have to offer the bottom line. We’ve already begun training USDA staff at all levels, and now we’re making the free online training available to the public so funders and investors everywhere can learn more, on their own time and pace, about this emerging business sector. The online training entitled, What’s the Big Deal? Assessing and Financing Regional Food Enterprises, helps funders and investors better understand and assess regional food businesses by providing an introduction to the food sector and regional food enterprises, a framework for conducting due diligence and a case study exercise to practice assessment. The training also introduces “capital stacking,” by which multiple funders, from private philanthropy, mission-oriented lenders, traditional lenders and public or government programs, use different models and levels of risk-tolerance to meet the capital needs of regional food businesses need.

 

ULI: Creative Finance for Smaller Communities

The Urban Land Institute provides a series of case studies that illustrate how communities have used P3s and other financing mechanisms to improve the appearance and functionality of their infrastructure.

 

CDFA RLF Resource Center

The CDFA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center contains lists of federal, state and local RLF programs, as well as detailed information on how to capitalize and operate new RLF programs.

 

Weighing Economic Incentives in the Location Decision

Today's market conditions call for a savvier real estate approach, and it is no longer a secret that a solid incentives package can mean the difference between propelling a deal forward and maintaining the status quo.

 

2015 National Food Hub Survey

The data from 2015 National Food Hub Survey is first ongoing national data set of its caliber on food hub operations. This report details findings on topics such as the financial state of food hubs, the numbers and types of farmers and ranchers that they work with, and the types of customers they serve. The findings of this, the second national food hub survey, together with the 2013 National Food Hub survey, are the beginning of a longitudinal data set that tracks what food hubs look like and what impacts they are having across the United States. Overall, the 2015 National Food Hub Survey indicates that the food hub model can be financially successful across a variety of legal structures and geographic or customer markets. As consumer interest in local and regional food grows, the market for food hub services also grows.

 

Angel Investing: Patience and a Portfolio Required

The latest Angel Resource Institute (ARI) survey of returns for nearly 250 angel investments reveals the number of projects failing to breakeven during their liquidity events is up sharply since before the Great Recession – nearly 35 percent more are losing money for their angels than ARI found in a 2007 survey. In 2007, 52 percent of liquidity events failed to reach 1x, while that figure has grown to 70 percent in 2016. Add to that, angel investors are holding companies in their portfolios 12 months longer on average, 4.5 years in 2016, than they did in the first study. A third strike for the faint of heart might be the internal rate of return dropping five points, down from 27 percent in 2007 to 22 percent in 2016. Do these trends provide insight on how best to advise crowd funding participants? Read more...

 

Expanding Veterans’ Opportunities to Become Entrepreneurs

Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs, begins his pitch in front of a Startup Week event in Columbus, Ohio with a compelling statistic. In the six years following WWII, 50 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses. Today, only 6 percent of post-9/11 vets do the same, despite surveys showing four times that number would like to do so. What has changed to lead to such a contrast and entrepreneurship gap? Read more...

 

Americans are consuming less caloric sweeteners, with children leading the way

A recent linking of ERS’s loss-adjusted food availability data with intake surveys from 1994-2008 reveals that American children are doing a better job of cutting down on sugary beverages and other sweetened foods than adults are. In 1994-98, children ages 2 to 19 consumed 94.0 pounds per person per year of caloric sweeteners compared with 81.4 pounds consumed by adults. Over the next decade, per-capita consumption of caloric sweeteners by children fell to 77.4 pounds per year, while adults’ consumption rose before returning to 1994-98 levels. Caloric sweeteners include cane and beet sugar, high fructose corn sweeteners, glucose, dextrose, honey, and edible syrups—common ingredients in sweetened beverages, baked goods, spaghetti sauces, ketchups, and a host of other processed foods. Over 1994-2008, consumption of sweeteners declined across all income and race/ethnicity groups, with Hispanics and other races/ethnicities consuming less caloric sweeteners than non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks. The data for this chart and similar information on 62 other food commodities can be found in the ERS report, U.S. Food Commodity Consumption Broken Down by Demographics, 1994-2008, March 2016.

Performance Partnership Pilots: An Opportunity to Improve Outcomes for Disconnected Youth

Federal agencies have released a second call for bold proposals to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth. Over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. are out of school and not working. In many cases, they face the additional challenges including being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, seven federal agencies are jointly inviting state, local, and tribal communities to apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieving better outcomes for these youth, as well as youth at risk of becoming disconnected from critical social institutions and supports.

Senate Passes Energy Reform Bill

The Senate passed a wide-ranging bill to modernize energy policy, the culmination of nearly a year and a half of bipartisan work by top energy senators.

 

Impact Investing in the Energy Sector

IIPC highlights specific actions the federal government can take to coordinate and direct diverse actors with flexible, mission-interested capital. The ultimate policy objective is to catalyze investment in energy innovation and deployment

 

Foundations Aligning Investments With Their Missions

While foundations traditionally have kept the management of their endowment funds separate from their grantmaking activities, some are aligning more of their investments with their missions, the Financial Times reports.Seeing their endowments as a tool that can help them pursue their philanthropic goals, some foundations have opted to eschew investments that might be regarded as unethical or counter-productive, including investments in arms manufacturers, tobacco companies, and/or fossil fuel companies. For example, more than a hundred and twenty-five foundations have signed on to the Divest-Invest Philanthropy campaign, which calls on foundations to divest their portfolios of investments in the two hundred largest fossil fuel companies and invest at least 5 percent of their assets in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology within a five-year period....

 

Study Outlines Billion-Dollar Philanthropic Bets to Address Poverty

Billion-dollar philanthropic investments in key areas could improve social mobility and revive "the American dream" for low-income families, a report from the Bridgespan Group argues.

The report, "Billion Dollar Bets" to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (33 pages, PDF), identified four areas in which investments of $1 billion could dramatically improve the lifetime earnings of low-income Americans — building skills and assets, addressing cultural and structural inhibitors, transforming communities, and building the infrastructure to implement and scale interventions that work. The researchers evaluated proven interventions and promising innovations in the four areas, which they then narrowed to six "big bets" — improving early childhood development, establishing clear and viable pathways to careers, reducing rates of conviction and incarceration, reducing unintended pregnancies, reducing the effects of concentrated poverty on those living in distressed neighborhoods, and improving the performance of public systems that oversee social services....

 

 

EVENTS/LEARNING

HUD Launches Improved On-Line Tool to Facilitate Consultation with Indian Tribes About HUD-Assisted Development

HUD’s Office of Environment and Energy, in collaboration with the Office of Native American Programs, and with extensive technical support from the Office of Policy Development and Research, has completed a new update of the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT 2.1), a database of tribal contact information and geographic areas of interest. All federally recognized Indian tribes were contacted to update information on tribal leaders and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the names of counties where they have a current or ancestral interest. Sixteen percent of the tribes identified additional counties of interest over the 2011 edition of TDAT. The new TDAT 2.1 is publicly available on HUD's website.

 

 

For more CED-related content please subscribe to the following:

Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

Cooperative Reports, Publications, and Statistics

Rural Cooperative Magazine

Placed Based Initiatives & Regional Programs

Community Economic Development

Suzette's Letter, June 10, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

Obama Administration Names Final Round of Promise Zone Communities

The Obama Administration today named the final nine Promise Zones across the country – high poverty areas in select urban, rural and tribal communities. Through the Promise Zone Initiative, the Federal government will work strategically with local leaders to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas.

  1. Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Nashville, Tennessee
  3. Evansville, Indiana
  4. South Los Angeles, California
  5. San Diego, California
  6. Southwest Florida Regional Planning Commission
  7. Spokane Tribe of Indians, Washington
  8. Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Rolette County, North Dakota
  9. Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro traveled to Atlanta to make the announcement while U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new Promise Zone in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico on Friday.  In addition, a host of other senior Administration officials made individual announcements in the other Promise Zones.

 

Racial/ethnic diversity in rural America is increasing

Racial and ethnic minorities made up 21 percent of rural residents in 2014. Hispanics (who may be of any race) and Asians are the fastest growing minority groups in the United States as a whole and in rural areas. Over 2010-14, the rural Hispanic population increased 9.2 percent, and their share of the total rural population rose from 7.5 to 8.2 percent. Asians and Pacific Islanders represent a small share of the rural population—about 1 percent—but their population grew by 18 percent between 2010 and 2014, while rural Native American and Black populations grew at more modest rates. This is in contrast to the rural non-Hispanic White population, which declined by 1.7 percent between 2010 and 2014. Overall rural population loss (which was -0.2 percent for the period) would have been much higher if not for the growth in the rural racial and ethnic minority groups. Rural minorities tend to be younger on average and have larger families than non-Hispanic Whites, and this, along with net migration, is reflected in the varying growth rates.

 

Local Governments Cry Foul over Feds' Move to Limit Tax-Exempt Bonds

Public officials in Minnesota and across the nation are scrambling to head off a proposal they say would deliver a devastating blow to their ability to fund infrastructure and economic development projects.

 

Income Inequality: A Growing Threat to Eliminating Rural Child Poverty

No child in this country should grow up in poverty.  And as a new analysis by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) makes clear, to end that injustice we must do more to tackle growing income inequality.  The study found that rising income inequality explains an overwhelming 93 percent of the increase in rural child poverty between 2003 and 2014.  As the report notes, income inequality was considerably higher in 2014 than in 2003 in both urban and rural areas.  Over the past seven years, USDA and the Obama Administration’s work to bring economic opportunity to rural America has produced concrete results: rural areas are seeing income growth; two-thirds of rural communities have demonstrated job growth; and for the first time in years, rural areas are gaining population rather than losing residents.  But this new research on the pervasive effects of income inequality underscores that broader Administration priorities, like raising the minimum wage, must be part of any comprehensive approach to rural poverty.

 

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food May 2016 Newsletter

With the warmer weather, the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Initiative also brings warm greetings and many exciting announcements. At USDA, we just wrapped up KYF2/Organics Month, during which we launched a number of new local and regional food system activities and also enhanced our existing resources. The Department kicked off the month by publishing the latest installment of our Results project, summarizing the major achievements we’ve made on local and regional food systems since the founding of KYF2 in 2009.  And we launched a brand new version of our website.

 

New Tools Bring Lenders to the Table for Local, Regional Food Enterprises

USDA has joined forces with Wholesome Wave, a national non-profit working to increase affordable access to local produce, to offer free online interactive training to help funders of all stripes better understand what these food businesses have to offer the bottom line. We’ve already begun training USDA staff at all levels, and now we’re making the free online training available to the public so funders and investors everywhere can learn more, on their own time and pace, about this emerging business sector. The online training entitled, What’s the Big Deal? Assessing and Financing Regional Food Enterprises, helps funders and investors better understand and assess regional food businesses by providing an introduction to the food sector and regional food enterprises, a framework for conducting due diligence and a case study exercise to practice assessment. The training also introduces “capital stacking,” by which multiple funders, from private philanthropy, mission-oriented lenders, traditional lenders and public or government programs, use different models and levels of risk-tolerance to meet the capital needs of regional food businesses need.

 

ULI: Creative Finance for Smaller Communities

The Urban Land Institute provides a series of case studies that illustrate how communities have used P3s and other financing mechanisms to improve the appearance and functionality of their infrastructure.

 

CDFA RLF Resource Center

The CDFA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center contains lists of federal, state and local RLF programs, as well as detailed information on how to capitalize and operate new RLF programs.

 

Weighing Economic Incentives in the Location Decision

Today's market conditions call for a savvier real estate approach, and it is no longer a secret that a solid incentives package can mean the difference between propelling a deal forward and maintaining the status quo.

 

2015 National Food Hub Survey

The data from 2015 National Food Hub Survey is first ongoing national data set of its caliber on food hub operations. This report details findings on topics such as the financial state of food hubs, the numbers and types of farmers and ranchers that they work with, and the types of customers they serve. The findings of this, the second national food hub survey, together with the 2013 National Food Hub survey, are the beginning of a longitudinal data set that tracks what food hubs look like and what impacts they are having across the United States. Overall, the 2015 National Food Hub Survey indicates that the food hub model can be financially successful across a variety of legal structures and geographic or customer markets. As consumer interest in local and regional food grows, the market for food hub services also grows.

 

Angel Investing: Patience and a Portfolio Required

The latest Angel Resource Institute (ARI) survey of returns for nearly 250 angel investments reveals the number of projects failing to breakeven during their liquidity events is up sharply since before the Great Recession – nearly 35 percent more are losing money for their angels than ARI found in a 2007 survey. In 2007, 52 percent of liquidity events failed to reach 1x, while that figure has grown to 70 percent in 2016. Add to that, angel investors are holding companies in their portfolios 12 months longer on average, 4.5 years in 2016, than they did in the first study. A third strike for the faint of heart might be the internal rate of return dropping five points, down from 27 percent in 2007 to 22 percent in 2016. Do these trends provide insight on how best to advise crowd funding participants? Read more...

 

Expanding Veterans’ Opportunities to Become Entrepreneurs

Todd Connor, CEO of Bunker Labs, begins his pitch in front of a Startup Week event in Columbus, Ohio with a compelling statistic. In the six years following WWII, 50 percent of returning veterans started their own businesses. Today, only 6 percent of post-9/11 vets do the same, despite surveys showing four times that number would like to do so. What has changed to lead to such a contrast and entrepreneurship gap? Read more...

 

Americans are consuming less caloric sweeteners, with children leading the way

A recent linking of ERS’s loss-adjusted food availability data with intake surveys from 1994-2008 reveals that American children are doing a better job of cutting down on sugary beverages and other sweetened foods than adults are. In 1994-98, children ages 2 to 19 consumed 94.0 pounds per person per year of caloric sweeteners compared with 81.4 pounds consumed by adults. Over the next decade, per-capita consumption of caloric sweeteners by children fell to 77.4 pounds per year, while adults’ consumption rose before returning to 1994-98 levels. Caloric sweeteners include cane and beet sugar, high fructose corn sweeteners, glucose, dextrose, honey, and edible syrups—common ingredients in sweetened beverages, baked goods, spaghetti sauces, ketchups, and a host of other processed foods. Over 1994-2008, consumption of sweeteners declined across all income and race/ethnicity groups, with Hispanics and other races/ethnicities consuming less caloric sweeteners than non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks. The data for this chart and similar information on 62 other food commodities can be found in the ERS report, U.S. Food Commodity Consumption Broken Down by Demographics, 1994-2008, March 2016.

Performance Partnership Pilots: An Opportunity to Improve Outcomes for Disconnected Youth

Federal agencies have released a second call for bold proposals to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth. Over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. are out of school and not working. In many cases, they face the additional challenges including being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, seven federal agencies are jointly inviting state, local, and tribal communities to apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieving better outcomes for these youth, as well as youth at risk of becoming disconnected from critical social institutions and supports.

Senate Passes Energy Reform Bill

The Senate passed a wide-ranging bill to modernize energy policy, the culmination of nearly a year and a half of bipartisan work by top energy senators.

 

Impact Investing in the Energy Sector

IIPC highlights specific actions the federal government can take to coordinate and direct diverse actors with flexible, mission-interested capital. The ultimate policy objective is to catalyze investment in energy innovation and deployment

 

Foundations Aligning Investments With Their Missions

While foundations traditionally have kept the management of their endowment funds separate from their grantmaking activities, some are aligning more of their investments with their missions, the Financial Times reports.Seeing their endowments as a tool that can help them pursue their philanthropic goals, some foundations have opted to eschew investments that might be regarded as unethical or counter-productive, including investments in arms manufacturers, tobacco companies, and/or fossil fuel companies. For example, more than a hundred and twenty-five foundations have signed on to the Divest-Invest Philanthropy campaign, which calls on foundations to divest their portfolios of investments in the two hundred largest fossil fuel companies and invest at least 5 percent of their assets in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology within a five-year period....

 

Study Outlines Billion-Dollar Philanthropic Bets to Address Poverty

Billion-dollar philanthropic investments in key areas could improve social mobility and revive "the American dream" for low-income families, a report from the Bridgespan Group argues.

The report, "Billion Dollar Bets" to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (33 pages, PDF), identified four areas in which investments of $1 billion could dramatically improve the lifetime earnings of low-income Americans — building skills and assets, addressing cultural and structural inhibitors, transforming communities, and building the infrastructure to implement and scale interventions that work. The researchers evaluated proven interventions and promising innovations in the four areas, which they then narrowed to six "big bets" — improving early childhood development, establishing clear and viable pathways to careers, reducing rates of conviction and incarceration, reducing unintended pregnancies, reducing the effects of concentrated poverty on those living in distressed neighborhoods, and improving the performance of public systems that oversee social services....

 

 

EVENTS/LEARNING

HUD Launches Improved On-Line Tool to Facilitate Consultation with Indian Tribes About HUD-Assisted Development

HUD’s Office of Environment and Energy, in collaboration with the Office of Native American Programs, and with extensive technical support from the Office of Policy Development and Research, has completed a new update of the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool (TDAT 2.1), a database of tribal contact information and geographic areas of interest. All federally recognized Indian tribes were contacted to update information on tribal leaders and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and the names of counties where they have a current or ancestral interest. Sixteen percent of the tribes identified additional counties of interest over the 2011 edition of TDAT. The new TDAT 2.1 is publicly available on HUD's website.

 

 

For more CED-related content please subscribe to the following:

Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

Cooperative Reports, Publications, and Statistics

Rural Cooperative Magazine

Placed Based Initiatives & Regional Programs

Community Economic Development

Suzette's Letter, May 6, 2016

PUBLICATIONS

USDA Unveils New 'Urban Agriculture Toolkit' for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs

Last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/knowyourfarmer?navid=kyf-urban-agric">USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by USDA's Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture. From neighborhood gardens grown on repurposed lots, to innovative mobile markets and intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing into a mature business sector in cities across the country. USDA's Toolkit is an electronic document that helps urban and small farms navigate more than 70 helpful resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. It focuses on some of the most pressing challenges confronting urban producers such as land access, soil quality, water resources, capital and financing, infrastructure, market development, production strategies, and applying for federal, state or private foundation grants. University extension service partners in Chicago and Indianapolis helped develop cost estimates for starting urban farms and the toolkit includes information on best practices and check lists for start-ups and early-stage producers planning outdoor or indoor operations.

 

SSBCI Bill Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services

A bill to reauthorize the successful State Small Business Credit Initiative and to allow participating States to provide program funds to small businesses for development of affordable housing was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

 

New Market Tax Credits Infographic

Dan McRae's infographic sorts out allocation, credits, sheltered income and unsheltered income, and trace the actual funding from New Market Tax Credits.

LGBTQ Healthcare: Building Inclusive Rural Practices
by Zachary Toliver
Like all rural residents, LGBTQ individuals need access to quality healthcare from an engaged provider. But sometimes, providers lack the specific training and cultural know-how to address the healthcare needs of LGBTQ patients. This article discusses the barriers rural LGBTQ people face and what providers can do to ensure quality care.

Startup Seeks to Open up Public Finance to Small Investors

In 2012, two entrepreneurs came up with a novel way to open up public finance to small investors: create an online marketplace allowing people to invest smaller-than-usual amounts of money in municipal bonds backing specific civic projects.

Setting the Stage for Leveraging Resources for Brownfields Revitalization

This guide from the U.S. EPA provides guidance and technical assistance to localities and brownfields practitioners on leveraging resources for brownfields revitalization. This guide explores how communities can prepare to successfully leverage funding and other resources for brownfields revitalization.

House Subcommittee Examines EPA Brownfields Program

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing about the EPA Brownfields Program, including what about it currently works well, what could be improved, and how the program helps communities handle issues like environmental liability concerns, financial barriers, cleanup considerations, and reuse planning.

Three-quarters of WIC benefits are redeemed in large stores

A recent ERS report finds that, despite the fact that WIC benefits are not structured to encourage participants to consider price when they acquire their WIC foods, 76 percent of WIC retail redemptions in fiscal 2012 were at large lower price stores, such as supermarkets, supercenters, and large grocery stores. Another 9 percent of benefits were redeemed at WIC-only and A-50 stores (those that derive more than 50 percent of annual food-sales revenue from WIC redemptions).

Number of farms with direct-to-consumer sales increases, sales plateau

Data on direct-to-consumer (DTC) food sales were first collected in the 1978 Census of Agriculture, and DTC sales data have been collected in every agricultural census thereafter (except in 1987). In 1992, the number of DTC farms fell to the lowest level since information collection on DTC farms began; since that time, the number has slowly and steadily increased, peaking in 2012. The constant-dollar value of DTC sales increased as well, before declining slightly in 2012. Two factors may have contributed to the lack of growth in DTC sales over 2007-12. First, consumer demand for local food purchased through DTC outlets may have plateaued. Second, where local food systems have been thriving, farmers may have been able to direct more of their sales to “intermediated” outlets, such as local restaurants and retailers, institutions, and local aggregators. ERS research finds that the number of farms marketing through intermediated channels increased by 34 percent from 36,000 in 2008 to 48,300 in 2012

 

EVENTS/LEARNING

Business Leader Conference Call with President Barack Obama | Friday, May 6 | 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT

 To cap off National Small Business Week, President Obama and senior Administration officials will join Business Forward’s nationwide network of business leaders to discuss the role of small business in growing the American economy. The discussion will focus on key economic initiatives, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In addition to hearing from the President, business leaders from across the country will have the opportunity to ask questions of Administration officials about how various economic policies affect their companies, employees, and local economies. http://action.businessfwd.org/page/s/obama-call">>>REGISTER NOW (Space is limited)

 

RD Apply Webinar | May 18th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EDT

The USDA Telecommunications Program will host a webinar focused on our new application intake system, RD Apply. This new system allows interested parties to apply electronically for loans and grants administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Apply with ease for the latest RUS Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program and Infrastructure Program loans through RD Apply. Eventually, more programs will be added into the system, allowing a wider range of customers to submit applications electronically. Due to the limited amount of room available, you must register with the RUS Policy & Outreach Division to attend. Please pre-register at https://www.livemeeting.com/register. Register soon to ensure your spot in the session. If the above registration link does not work, please copy and paste the following link you’re your browser: https://www.livemeeting.com/lrs/8002989786/Registration.aspx?pageName=746cbz7gc5dnb4nf.

Requirements for Committing HOME Funds Webinar - May 10, 2016 - 2:00 PM EDT

HUD's Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) is pleased to announce a webinar on the HOME requirements contained in Notice CPD-15-09 Requirements for Committing HOME Funds on May 10, 2016, from 2:00 PM EDT until 4:00 PM EDT. This webinar will describe what Participating Jurisdictions must do in order to meet the HOME requirements for committing funds to specific local projects and to programs undertaken by State recipients and subrecipients. It will explain the requirements contained in the definition of “commitment” (at 24 CFR 92.2) and the underwriting, subsidy layering, and project assessment requirements (at 24 CFR 92.250(b)), all of which must be met prior to the commitment of HOME funds.

 

For more CED-related content please subscribe to the following:

Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

Cooperative Reports, Publications, and Statistics

Rural Cooperative Magazine

Placed Based Initiatives & Regional Programs

Community Economic Development

  

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