Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced four competitive funds available for rural communities with a population under 20,000. Specifically, funding of up to $500,000 has been allocated to the following funds for current fiscal year (FY) 2022 through FY 2023: 

  • Rural Innovation Grant Program – Provides up to $200,000 in grants supporting creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection; the 

  • Rural Housing Assessment Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of publicly available online information through the “Profile of Iowa” tool and rural community efforts to interpret this hard data with supplemental information, as well as to implement through changes to development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives specific to their community needs in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; the 

  • Rural Child Care Market Study Grant Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support the use of data and analysis by rural communities to determine the specific needs and solutions for their area. In partnership with First Children’s Finance, funding from the program will empower communities to assess their current child care market environment and develop strategies; and the 

  • Rural Return Program – Provides up to $100,000 to support creative programming that attracts new residents to move and/or work in rural communities. Grant funding will support the development and implementation of incentive programs.  

Guidelines and scoring rubrics for all programs are available on the Center for Rural Revitalization’s website. The programs, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, are administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of IEDA, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces. 

Applications for FY 2022 are currently being accepted via and are due by December 1, 2021. Applications will be scored by volunteer panels that will include the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members and expert professionals. Successful applicants will be informed in mid-December. 

 “We are committed to revitalizing our rural Iowa communities to ensure they continue to grow and prosper,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative grant opportunities will provide the tools that will enable leaders and innovators to build thriving communities in all corners of the state, making Iowa an even better place to live, work and raise families.” 

“By connecting, investing and growing our rural communities through these grant programs, we are elevating creative initiatives that will drive significant change in our rural communities and align with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative,” said Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, co-chair of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. “These projects will keep rural Iowa moving in the right direction.” 

For additional program parameters and information, contact Liesl Seabert at