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