Services for Rural Missouri

Learn about specific programs and services geared towards growing Missouri’s small towns. Get best practices and strategic plans from other rural communities that are finding ways to skill up their local talent, attract business, and strengthen their infrastructure. Rural Missouri Feels like Home!  

Growing Rural Communities

We all love our communities—now let’s show the rest of the world how much rural Missouri Feels Like Home to growing businesses and families. From waste water treatment grants to workforce training programs, we can point you to rural-related resources that can help strengthen your small community. You can also learn about local initiatives underway in every corner of the state that can serve as resource guides for communities/regions struggling with new and creative local development strategies.

Missouri Feels Like Home

In 2014, the Missouri Department of Economic Development partnered with Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) to launch “Feels Like Home Tour,” a new rural economic growth initiative that brings specialists from economic development, workforce, tourism, and education institutions together with local officials from small communities to brainstorm viable strategies on how to grow that specific local economy and help businesses feel at home. The tour has been held in several MCB rural communities throughout the state and has scheduled several more for this year. If your community is interested in having the tour stop in your town, please sign up below. *This program is exclusively for communities that are members of MCB.

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Regional Profiles

Snapshot of Missouri's financing, workforce programs & other resources for rural development:

 Community Development Block Grants
From waste water improvement projects, to developing or enhancing public infrastructure, to addressing local health and safety concerns, our programs are designed to support a community’s greater capacity for growth.
 Energy Efficiency
Learn about programs that can help low income families as well as elderly residents in your community make cost-effective energy-efficient home improvements to lower their utility bills. Also available are low-interest loans for your county/city government to embark on energy-savings projects that will pay for themselves and help your community achieve greater sustainability.
 Youth Opportunity Program
Develop or broaden initiatives that foster positive development for youth in your community. Whether it’s to encourage youth participation in the community or discourage violent behavior, our program can help promote positive change.
 Neighborhood Assistance Program
Implement community or neighborhood projects in your town that will strengthen economic development. This program can help fund job training initiatives, crime prevention, community service projects, and revitalization of community-based buildings and areas such as parks and sporting complexes.
 Start Smart
Develop a new or expand an existing high-quality early childhood and pre-K educational center in your community. Children’s participation in these programs helps contribute to successes far beyond the classroom, strengthening your emerging workforce.
 Art Grants
To spur growth in the arts industry, the Missouri Arts Council provides grants and other programming to help communities fund performances as well as educational initiatives in the arts.
 Tourism Grants
Have an attraction or event that tourists need to check out? Learn more about ways to market your community to a wider audience.
 Workforce Development
From summer youth employment programs and park cleanup temporary work to helping communities prepare for a mass layoff, we have programs that help communities build upon its local workforce as well as help those that are affected by shifts in the business community.
 Certified Work Ready Community
ACT’s workforce training initiative helps county’s skill up their local labor force through a series of testing and certifications. These certificates help a community validate the quality of its workforce, helping it attract new businesses and better support existing companies.
 Missouri Main Street Connection
Learn about how to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of your historic downtown business district.
 MORESA
Learn about ways your community can embark on renewable energy projects. This program provides financial incentives for public infrastructure for the development of renewable fuel production facility or new generation processing entity facility to spur job creation and agricultural product markets throughout the state.
 Business Development
Missouri’s business incentive programs can help communities attract new business as well as retain their current companies operating in the area that provide jobs to many. From retention programs to expansions and attraction, our business specialists can help your community utilize state tools in the overall proposal when negotiating business projects.
 

Federal Resources

Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDL&G) Program

Administered by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, this program provides funding for job creation or community development projects through rural electric or telephone cooperatives.  Under the REDL&G program, USDA provides zero interest loans to the electric or telephone cooperative which in turn re-lends the funds to local businesses (ultimate recipient) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.  

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans

Administered by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, this program helps rural communities improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment to improve the economic and environmental climate. Loans are made by conventional lenders and guaranteed by USDA Rural Development to help maintain or establish private business and industry enterprises that create employment opportunities.  

Rural Business Development Grants

Administered by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, this program helps rural areas support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses. Grants are made by USDA Rural Development to public bodies, not-for-profit entities or Indian tribes to assist in the development of private business enterprises and support sustainable economic development in rural communities.  

U.S. Economic Development Administration

This federal agency helps improve the quality of life by expanding the capacity of individuals, firms and communities to maximize the use of their talents and skills to support innovation, lower transaction costs, and responsibly produce and trade valuable good and servics. 

Federal Grants

From natural resource restoration grants and agriculture surveillance, to AmeriCorps grants and other efforts, you can search through and apply for federal grants to meet your community needs in one place. 

Connect with partnering agencies