Rural Council Promoting “Rural Prosperity Fund”

As heard during the MACo Winter Conference, the Rural Maryland Council and other stakeholders are advocating support for the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund. From online programs regarding the program:

The Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund would provide funding in four targeted areas:

Increase Entrepreneurship – Support entrepreneurship training and technical assistance along with improved access to capital for small business.
Improve Infrastructure – To support regional infrastructure projects that involve at least two units of local government.
Enhance Regional Planning – To support rural regional councils and other multi-county efforts. Specifically, increase the capacity of the five rural regional planning and development councils.
Target Community Development – To support the Rural Maryland Council and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) grant program.

The one-page information sheet on the proposed program lays out more detail:

The General Assembly created the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund in 2006 to help raise the overall standard of living in rural areas to a level that meets or exceeds statewide benchmark averages. To date, no funding has been appropriated. The Rural Maryland Council, which administers the Fund, estimates $4 million a year is needed to meet the objectives of the legislation.

Online templates are available to generate either a letter or email of support.

For more information, call 410-841-5772 or visit www.RuralMarylandProsperity.org.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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