Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Northern Border Regional Commission: Key Grant Programs

Agency Description

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a federal-state partnership for economic and community development throughout designated counties in its four-state service area within Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.  Each year, the NBRC provides federal funds for critical economic and community development projects throughout northern New England and New York.

The mission of the NBRC is to catalyze regional, collaborative, and transformative community economic development approaches that alleviate economic distress and position the region for economic growth.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 2008, the NBRC partnership is based on the successful Appalachian Regional Commission model and is part of a group of new regional commissions created by Congress within the last twenty years. The NBRC has been funded by Congress since 2010.

NBRC investment funds originate from the Federal Government but are approved by the Federal Government’s NBRC representative (Federal Co-Chair) and the Governors of the four States.

Discretionary Grant Programs

Below are brief descriptions of Northern Border Regional Commission grant programs.

For more information on these opportunities, follow the links in each description, which lead to individual grant program pages in the Grant Applicant Toolkit’s DOT Discretionary Grants Dashboard, where you can search federal grant opportunities at USDOT and other federal agencies that can aid communities in meeting their transportation infrastructure needs.

Catalyst Program (IIJA and SEID) (Competitive)

In 2023, NBRC debuted an expanded investment program at approximately $44 million, which includes both core appropriation funds together with a portion of $150 million in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in carrying out activities authorized by subtitle V of title 40, United States Code.

This program will prioritize funding for projects that demonstrate direct impacts on the region’s economy and communities across its 7 core funding areas. This program has a mandated focus on infrastructure, with 40 percent of available funds to be allocated to infrastructure projects.

This program will help Northern Border communities build the next generation of infrastructure with an historic investment in revitalization of transportation, water and wastewater, alternative energy, and telecommunications.

Infrastructure projects will have an award size ranging up to $1 million with consideration of awards up to $3 million for projects that demonstrate their ability to meet the eligibility criteria and address priorities identified by NBRC and member states. To be eligible for the higher maximum, projects must either include multiple infrastructure categories or serve multiple jurisdictions. Eligibility will be determined in the LOI review process conducted by both NBRC and the member States (New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine).

Non-infrastructure projects will have an award size up to $500,000.

Multi-state or Multi-jurisdictional projects will have an award size up to $3 million for construction in support of infrastructure projects and $500,000 for non-infrastructure projects.

Questions regarding NBRC’s Catalyst Program should be directed to Program Manager Adrianne Harrison or Program Director Andrea Smith

Forest Economy Program (Competitive)

In 2023, NBRC will make $7 million available to support the forest-based economy and to assist in the industry’s evolution to include new technologies and viable business models across the four-state NBRC region.

This program is different from NBRC’s core investment program (referenced above) in that FEP emphasizes the potential for impact across the entire NBRC region while infrastructure projects must directly support the forest industry.

Investment priorities for these dollars include development and commercialization of technologies that create new markets for forest product residuals; workforce recruitment, development, and training to increase job placement across the forest product continuum; support eligible entities to sustain and grow existing forest industry business and operations; revitalization of rural communities through the diversified use of northern border forest for economic activity; and encourage projects that leverage existing (or, in some cases, new) partnerships to impact or have potential to impact multiple counties, states and/or the entire NBRC region.

Questions regarding NBRC’s Forest Economy Program should be directed to Program Manager Marina Bowie

State Capacity Grant Program (Non-Competitive and Available to Member States Only)

NBRC utilizes these funds to assist Member States to develop comprehensive economic and infrastructure development plans for their NBRC counties. Plans are to reflect the goals, objectives, and priorities within NBRC’s economic and infrastructure plan.

Questions regarding the State Capacity Grant Program should be directed to Program Director Andrea Smith