Resource Details

Broadband & Internet, Business, Economic Development, Start-Up & Entrepreneur, Workforce

Stronger Together-Joint Planning Resource Guide

Strategic economic development revitalizes communities. Approached holistically, it attracts investments, builds wealth, and promotes sustainability. As a foundational first step, planning is crucial to successful economic development. It encourages us to leverage resources, build partnerships, advance the principles of equity, and strengthen systems to address global threats. By sequencing – or “stacking” – funding opportunities, you can effectively meet your community’s economic development goals. There is a wide range of federal resources available to help you identify complementary programs, but it can be daunting to know where to begin. The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) created this joint planning resource guide, designed to help eliminate barriers and encourage collaboration among stakeholders.


By law, the definition of “eligible rural area” differs for each USDA Rural Development program, and the statutory rural area eligibility criteria can be complex. Additionally, statues can include exceptions for specific communities based on regional circumstances. Please use Rural Development’s Eligibility Tool ( to help determine if your project is in an eligible rural area and you are otherwise eligible to apply.

Top Benefits

  • Planning and Technical Assistance
  • Infrastructure and Broadband Expansion
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Assistance
  • Workforce Development and Livability

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