On the surface, places like Statesboro, Ga.; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Moscow, Idaho; Gloversville, N.Y.; and Portage, Wis.; don’t seem to have an abundance in common – but they do have one big thing tying them together right now. These communities and hundreds of others are vying for $10 million in total prizes from the America’s Best Communities competition, an initiative to stimulate local economic revitalization.
A total of 138 applicant teams representing more than representing more than 300 communities are participating. The competition is a multi-stage, three-year affair. Frontier, DISH, CoBank and The Weather Channel will announce 50 quarterfinalists on April 29, 2015. Each will receive $50,000 with a $15,000 matching fund obligation, to define and develop their visions. These communities will then have six months to refine and submit more comprehensive revitalization plans.
Next, in early 2016, 15 semifinalists will attend the America’s Best Communities Summit to present their strategies, and eight will be awarded $100,000 to implement their plans. Then, in April 2017, three final winners will be selected, awarded $3 million, $2 million and $1 million, respectively.
“We’ve given small cities and rural towns an opportunity to enhance their quality of life and improve their economic future,” says Maggie Wilderotter, executive chairman of Frontier Communications. “The partnerships and strategies fostered by this competition will help transform communities from coast to coast and support our nation’s economic recovery. Their innovation can create new city business models.”
For a full list of the contest’s participating communities, click here.