The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently impacting people around the globe and the situation is changing rapidly. The health and safety of the people in rural communities and our staff and partners throughout the Pacific Northwest are our top priority. We are closely following the recommendations and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted sources regarding COVID-19. To be responsive to the threat of this global pandemic, we are implementing measures to help reduce the spread of germs, and are following the CDC guidelines for preventing and slowing the spread of illness.
At this time, we are considering alternate delivery methods and meeting formats for RDI programs and other initiatives that are currently in progress. If you are already registered for an RDI rural leadership or economy building program, we will be following up with you on an individual basis. The scheduling of all future initiatives is temporarily postponed through April.
We feel ever more sure that what is vitally important are our communities and our connections. If you haven’t already, we invite you to Join our PNW Rural Action Network (currently housed on Facebook). We will be posting updates and information about resources and strategies specific to the support of rural people, organizations, and economies. We encourage you to pay attention, track, and share the impacts of this global epidemic on our smaller places. RDI will be asked about how it is impacting rural, and we would love to be able to share your first hand stories.
Resources & Information
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced emergency loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn.
USDA is offering grants for projects that assist in the development, coordination, and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities.
USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program has a new application deadline of 4/15/20 for loans and grants to provide funds to construct, improve, or acquire facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
RDI is a member of the Rural Network; click here to read the network’s letter to Members of Congress, which requests robust emergency supplemental funding for USDA-Rural Development Programs.
Resources for Oregon
RDI wrote to petition the members of the Oregon legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response to consider the specific and unique impact of the coronavirus pandemic on rural Oregon communities. Click here to read the testimony.