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The current moment holds a unique opportunity to pursue projects that advance economic and community development. New or reinvigorated federal programs are offering funding and resources at a level not seen for some time, a situation that is unlikely to last indefinitely. There is a question, however, of whether rural areas have the capacity to avail themselves of these opportunities.
The South-West Collaborative Economic Development Region (SW CEDR) aims to build capacity in the the Monadnock Region and Upper Valley to pursue opportunities related to economic and community development. The group is composed of individuals and organizations working across the economic spectrum. It provides a channel of communication to state agency staff, in particular the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (NH BEA), who launched the CEDR initiative as a way to better support and connect with regional economic development stakeholders across the state. The SW CEDR is one of four CEDRs established across the state.
Currently, the SW CEDR’s primary focus is connecting economic and community development projects with grant writing services and related technical assistance. In order to connect projects with resources of this kind, the SW CEDR is compiling a list of projects planned or underway in the Monadnock Region and/or Upper Valley. The CEDR is collecting projects through a variety of avenues, including a project nomination form, which is open to the public.