Kuster Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Northern Border Regional Commission
Legislation would ensure NBRC can issue rural economic development grants during COVID-19 economic downturn
Concord, N.H., April 3, 2020
Concord, NH - Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced bipartisan legislation to provide additional financial flexibility to the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), a rural economic development agency headquartered in Concord. The Northern Border Regional Commission Financial Flexibility Act would waive requirements for NBRC Economic & Infrastructure Development grant recipients – currently, 20% of each project’s cost must come from non-Federal sources. This bill will remove that barrier and provide relief to both the NBRC and grant recipients by simplifying the process for the NBRC to distribute funding in New Hampshire and ensuring that grant recipients can access these funds without raising additional capital from non-Federal sources.
“As communities across New Hampshire grapple with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northern Border Regional Commission can play a critical role in expanding economic development in rural Granite State communities,” said Kuster. “However, a current regulation that requires grant recipients to raise significant capital from non-Federal sources will be problematic as traditional funding sources like municipalities and foundations are strained financially. My bipartisan legislation will temporarily remove this barrier through the end of 2021 to ensure that NBRC can inject critical resources into our rural communities and continue its mission to accelerate job creation and economic prosperity in communities that need it the most.”
“The Commission has heard concerns from some of the most distressed communities in the NBRC region that their matching funds may be at risk due to the economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus,” said NBRC Executive Director Rich Grogan. “The Congressional Delegation has been incredibly responsive to this concern, and we look forward to the opportunity to provide additional funds where they are needed most.”
The Northern Border Regional Commission Financial Flexibility Act is cosponsored by Reps. Stefanik (R-NY), Katko (R-NY), Pappas (D-NH), Pingree (D-ME), Golden (D-ME), and Welch (D-VT).