NBRC Catalyst Program Now Open

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) has opened the 2023 Catalyst Program grant application opportunity. The competitive Catalyst Program (formerly called the State Economic and Infrastructure Development (EID) competition) makes up to $44 million in grant funds available, approximately $11 million in Vermont, to stimulate economic growth and inspire partnerships that improve rural economic vitality across the four-state NBRC region.

Please note the following considerations for this competition:

New grant maximums for 2023. The funding may support economic development in categories such as infrastructure, workforce development, outdoor recreation, and childcare with awards of up to $3 million for infrastructure projects and up to $500,000 for non-infrastructure projects.  Allowable uses for infrastructure projects include: Transportation Infrastructure, Basic Public Infrastructure, Telecommunications Infrastructure, and Renewable and Alternative Energy Infrastructure

Allowable uses for non-infrastructure projects include: Business and Workforce Development; Basic Health Care; and  Resource Conservation, Tourism, and RecreationDistress criteria has been updated for 2023. Only 3 Vermont counties are classified as “distressed”: Essex, Caledonia, and Rutland. Counties no longer classified as distressed in 2023 include Orleans, Washington, Orange, and Windham. Grand Isle remains an “attainment county.” Franklin, Orleans, Chittenden, Lamoille, Addison, Washington, Orange, Windsor, Bennington, and Windham counties are classified as “transitional.” A distressed county has a 20% match requirement where a transitional county has a 50% match requirement.

COVID match waivers remain available this cycle. The NBRC will again accept requests from 2023 grant applicants for “no match” applications if the grantee indicates that matching funds are not available because of the impacts of COVID-19. 

Applicants are encouraged to attend an upcoming virtual information session. The Vermont session will take place April 3, but applicants may join any session and must register in advance. Recordings of the information sessions will be available on the NBRC website. 

  • Maine – Thursday, March 30, 2023, 2pm – 4pm – Register Here
  • New Hampshire – Monday, April 3, 2023, 10am – 12pm – Register Here 
  • Vermont – Monday, April 3, 2023, 1pm – 3pm – Register Here 
  • New York – Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 10am – 12pm – Register Here 

Letters of Interest are due April 21. Information regarding the Northern Border Regional Commission and grant opportunities including the annual distress criteria and match requirements, program overviews, maximum award amounts, eligibility criteria, allowable uses, prior awards, and competition timelines can be found on the NBRC website. Information regarding prior NBRC investments in Vermont can be found on the Vermont NBRC page.

Learn More & Apply