NH delegation welcomes $11 million in federal funding for economic development in new Hampshire’s rural communities
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced with U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) that the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is providing $11 million through 25 New Hampshire Catalyst Awards to support economic and community development projects throughout the state. These awards will go to projects such as affordable housing, clean energy infrastructure, hospital upgrades and more. The New Hampshire Catalyst Awards investments come from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which Senators Shaheen and Hassan negotiated and helped get it signed into law. The bipartisan infrastructure law provided $150 million to the NBRC.
“By ensuring the Northern Border Regional Commission has the federal funding it needs, we’re able to help expand our support for rural businesses, provide more affordable housing, make health care more accessible and break ground on infrastructure projects,” said Senator Shaheen. “With today’s announcements, communities across New Hampshire will have the federal funding needed to ensure our rural communities are not left behind and are put on a stronger foundation for future growth.”
“This new grant is just the latest way that the bipartisan infrastructure law – by strengthening the Northern Border Regional Commission – is making a difference for Granite Staters in rural communities,” Senator Hassan said. “This grant provides critical investments for rural infrastructure, small businesses, and workforce development – modernizing our economy and expanding opportunity for communities.”
“I am thrilled to see these federal resources heading to projects across our state to expand access to affordable housing, connect families with quality health care, and more,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The Northern Border Regional Commission is a key partner in lifting up our economy and rural communities, and I am proud to advocate for it in Congress.”
“From investing in rural economic development to supporting community projects, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a critical resource for Granite State communities,” said Congressman Pappas. “These awards will bolster New Hampshire’s small businesses, health care, housing, workforce, infrastructure, and more. This funding was made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law which I fought to pass, and I will always fight to support projects in New Hampshire that boost economic growth and invest in our future.”
Shaheen and Kuster are longtime advocates for the NBRC and consistently work to ensure the Commission continues to receive robust federal funding. The NBRC encourages business retention and expansion, invests in public infrastructure and promotes tourism across the North Country. To address unique challenges facing rural workforces, the NBRC also invests in projects that expand rural access to child care, health care and affordable housing.
Shaheen has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018. Congresswoman Kuster led this effort in the House. The legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County. Shaheen also worked to include language to ensure portions of NBRC funds be directed to assist rural communities affected by past mill closures, as well as support new markets and the infrastructure needs of the forest products industry. Recently, Shaheen, alongside Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), reintroduced the NBRC Reauthorization Act of 2023. Congresswoman Kuster led this legislation in the House. This bill will extend the authorization of the NBRC for another ten years. Shaheen also helped secure $40 million for the NBRC in federal government funding legislation for FY2023 that was signed into law, which is a $5 million increase above the FY2022 funding level and the highest the program has ever been funded. In addition, Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provided $150 million to the NBRC – historic funding that was partially allocated through the 2023 New Hampshire Catalyst Awards.