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The Regional Broadband Navigator Grant Program seeks to provide an aggregate of up to $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to one or more qualified grant administrators to launch regional broadband navigators to work with local and regional stakeholders to assist in coordination, development, and execution of broadband planning in response to the ongoing need for broadband access adoption and use.
Utilization of these grant funds to address the capacity to execute broadband coordination within a region is targeted to leverage eligible federal, state, and philanthropic broadband funding to reasonably address the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
MEDC performs administrative services to the MSF, including for this grant program. MEDC will recommend to the MSF, one organization per region. Factors considered for the selection of a Grant Administrator will include, but are not limited to, the potential Grant Administrator’s ability to:
The Initiative is designed to create a position that will serve as a single point of contact in each prosperity region to focus on regional broadband efforts.
Michigan non-profit organizations currently engaged in economic development activities at the regional level and/or regional governmental entities may apply for these grant funds to host a regional broadband navigator.
Priority will be given to members of MAR (Michigan Association of Regions) and regional EDO’s (Economic Development Organizations)
The application window to apply is now open. To download the application, click on the button below, fill in the application and email your completed application to CDBG@michigan.org. Emails should include "BROADBAND" in the subject line.
Interested organizations should provide a complete application for up to $60,000/year for one year. The application must identify the organization’s ability to host this position, including identifying the existing community connections and a plan to create new relationships if needed. The application should also include a timeline for hiring, and any previous experience, expertise or activities in this space, and a plan for supporting the position beyond the end of this initial grant.
There is no match requirement, however, the MSF Board encourages applicants to leverage other resources as a condition of the award. Each proposal should identify any match that they will be committing either or cash or in-kind.
Funding in the form of a grant will be awarded to Michigan non-profit organizations currently engaged in economic development activities at the regional level and/or regional governmental entities through a process in which all submitted applications will be reviewed. Only one grantee will be selected per region.
The applicant (organization applying for the grant funds) will hire the regional broadband navigator to serve the identified prosperity region. This grant funded position will have a term of one year. The grantee must:
Navigators will serve as broadband liaisons within the region assisting in providing technical assistance to local and regional stakeholders, gathering and disseminating broadband information throughout the region, coordinating with the Connecting Michigan Taskforce, and serve a proactive single point of contact for the region.
No. The funds awarded are to be used to pay the salary and expenses of the regional broadband navigator.
Questions can be emailed to: CDBG@michigan.org. Emails should include "BROADBAND" in the subject line.
This program has been made available through CDBG Cares Act funding. The pandemic revealed that broadband connectivity is critical in accessing telework opportunities, telehealth, distance learning and assisting small businesses. HUD realizes the importance of creating digital equality. This program will help communities to overcome the barriers to achieve more equitable access to high-speed internet in Michigan.