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USDOT Awards Main Street America $5.9 Million to Support Equitable Rural and Tribal Commercial District Development

April 12, 2023 | USDOT Awards Main Street America $5.9 Million to Support Equitable Rural and Tribal Commercial District Development 
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded National Main Street Center/Main Street America $5.9 million as part of the Thriving Communities Program to help 64 communities across the country access historic funding opportunities provided by the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).  
Through this program, we will support 20 communities in equitable rural and Tribal commercial district development. The work will be supported by our partners at E.L. Robinson, EquiticityNational Association of Development Organizations, Project for Public Spaces, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Rural Community Assistance Partnership.  
A $21.15 million program driven by four “Capacity Builder Organizations,” including National Main Street Center/Main Street America, Thriving Communities provides two years of no-cost intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to help identify, develop, and deliver transportation projects that strengthen communities. The Thriving Communities Program will grow the pipeline of communities that can successfully compete for federal funding. 
“The historic investments we are making in America’s infrastructure must reach the communities that need them the most,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With the new Thriving Communities program, we are helping under-resourced communities better access federal funding for transportation projects that will create jobs, improve safety, and strengthen their economies.” 
Along with our partners, we will focus on downtowns in rural and Tribal areas to develop an increased awareness of Federal opportunities, prepare community leaders to implement infrastructure and community development projects, and build lasting local capacity for carrying out projects. The team will provide subgrants to each community over a two-year period, matching technical assistance providers with communities based on assessment results and providing specialized grant assistance from application to project execution.  
"We are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in the Thriving Communities program,” said Hannah White, Interim President and CEO at Main Street America. “In lockstep with our expert partners and community leaders, we look forward to delivering needed technical assistance with a strong emphasis on equity practices and building networks across diverse geographies to downtowns and commercial districts that have been under-resourced for too long.” 
To read more about the Thriving Communities announcement, see the USDOT’s press release here. For more information on the Thriving Communities Program, visit this webpage