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How to Apply for ARC Supplemental Funding for the

Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge

ARC is participating in the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge as a regional funding partner. In addition to applying for grants from the primary funding agencies (USDA and EDA), applicants whose projects will be located in the Appalachian Region can apply for ARC supplemental funding in amounts up to $100,000.

This page contains instructions and information on eligibility, scope of work, and application requirements for ARC supplemental funding under the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. If you need further information, please email

Information on This Page

Who is Eligible for ARC Supplemental Funding?

Can Applicant Teams Apply?

Is There a Cost-Sharing Requirement?

What Are the Requirements for the ARC Scope of Work?

What Does the ARC Application Include?

Forms and Additional Information

Guide for ARC Rural Jobs Accelerator Application (PDF: 46 KB)

ARC County Economic Status and County Match Rates, FY 2012

Federal Standard Forms 424, 424A, and 424B (PDF: 100 KB)

Related Resources

Who is Eligible for ARC Supplemental Funding?

To be eligible for ARC supplemental funding, an applicant organization must first meet the eligibility requirements of USDA and EDA. See the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), Section IV for information on USDA and EDA requirements. (A map of USDA-eligible rural communities can be found on USDA's Rural Business Services Web site.)

In addition, applicants must meet ARC eligibility requirements:

  • Applicant must be a non-profit organization, educational institution, local development district, local government, or state government. Individuals and for-profit entities are excluded from eligibility.
  • ARC funding must be used for a scope of work designed to benefit the Appalachian Region as defined by the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, as amended. The Appalachian Region includes all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. A list of Appalachian counties is available on the ARC Web site.

Can Applicant Teams Apply?

Applications can be submitted by a single organization or by a team of organizations, with a different applicant taking the lead for funding from each agency. The lead applicant must be eligible to receive funds from the primary funding agency to which the application is submitted. For example, two different applicants can apply for funding from the two primary funding agencies and the third applicant can then apply for the ARC funding. In this case, the three organizations would constitute an applicant team, with a unified project that has a distinct scope of work for each of the three agencies.

Is there a Cost-Sharing Requirement for ARC Supplemental Funding?

Yes. Applicants must demonstrate a matching share from other federal or non-federal sources. The matching share must be available and committed to the project. The share of ARC funding is based on the economic status of the county or counties in which the project is located, as determined by ARC's County Economic Status Classification System. Projects may receive up to 80 percent of the cost of ARC scope of work, based on the relevant needs of the region in which the project will be located, as determined by ARC. Note that EDA, USDA, and DRA funds being sought under this FFO are ineligible for use as the matching share for ARC funds.

The maximum share of ARC funding for each county in the Appalachian Region is available on the FY 2012 County Economic Status and County Match Rates Table

The matching share requirement may be met through in-kind contributions, consisting of contributions of personnel, space, equipment, or services. ARC will fairly evaluate all in-kind contributions, which must be eligible project costs, be verifiable through audit, and meet applicable federal cost principles and uniform administrative requirements.

To determine the maximum ARC share of funding for ARC scope of work in a multi-county project, determine the maximum ARC share of funding for each county within the project's service area (80%, 70%, 50%, 30%, or 0%), add the percentages, and divide the sum by the number of counties. The resulting percentage is the maximum allowable ARC share.

What Are the Requirements for the ARC Scope of Work?

To complete the ARC Scope of Work section of the FFO (section VI.A.5), the applicant must

  • Provide a detailed description of all major ARC-funded activities and explain how they help accomplish the objectives of the FFO.
  • Describe the specific gaps in the community's entrepreneurial ecosystem that these activities address and how the approach is the most practical and cost-effective means of alleviating them.

 As identified in section VI.A.5 of the FFO, applicants must clearly identify a distinct scope of work for ARC funds. This scope of work must address gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of a defined community or region within the ARC service area, and help promote the growth and development of an identified industry cluster. The ARC activities must be distinct from EDA and USDA activities. The funds for the ARC activities cannot also fund the activities proposed for EDA and USDA funds.

Activities eligible for ARC funding under this announcement are limited to those that address gaps in a community's or region's entrepreneurial ecosystem that limit business development, job growth, and/or market expansion.

Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Support for improving access to capital for new, emerging, or established businesses;
  • Programs that help establish an enabling culture of entrepreneurship, including education for entrepreneurs
  • Establishment of a supportive infrastructure for entrepreneurship, including, but not limited to, improvements to a cluster's access to information technology infrastructure;
  • Support for establishment and/or improvement of local and regional networks, including those devoted to development or organization of cluster-focused assistance programs; and
  • Direct technical assistance, including business incubation programs, export assistance/market expansion, supply chain management, workforce development, or strategic planning.

What Does the ARC Application Include?

A complete ARC project application includes

  1. Required forms: Standard Form 424, Standard Form 424A, and Standard Form 424B
  2. The full project description from the EDA/USDA application; including:
    • A two-page executive summary;
    • A project narrative;
    • An integrated work plan; and
    • An ARC scope of work budget description.
  3. Required addenda to the project description for the ARC scope of work, including:
    • Resumes of key personnel;
    • Verification of matching funds;
    • Description of partnerships and Regional Collaboration;
    • Information on Geographic Area; and
    • Indirect Cost Rate.

For more information on these requirements, see the Guide for ARC Rural Jobs Accelerator Application (PDF: 46 KB).

Related Resources