Funding

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for resources to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. These efforts help farmers, ranchers and other small business owners save money on their energy bills, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, support America's clean energy economy, and cut carbon pollution. These resources are made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill.

"Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America," Vilsack said. "The funding we are making available will help farmers, ranchers, business owners, tribal organizations and other entities incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations. Doing so can help a business reduce energy use and costs while improving its bottom line. While saving producers money and creating jobs, these investments reduce dependence on foreign oil and cut carbon pollution as well."

USDA is making more than $280 million available to eligible applicants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Application deadlines vary by project type and the type of assistance requested.

USDA is offering grants for up to 25 percent of total project costs and loan guarantees for up to 75 percent of total project costs for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The REAP application window has been expanded. USDA will now accept and review loan and grant applications year-round.

Eligible renewable energy projects must incorporate commercially available technology. This includes renewable energy from wind, solar, ocean, small hydropower, hydrogen, geothermal and renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters). The maximum grant amount is $500,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.

Energy efficiency improvement projects eligible for REAP funding include lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, fans, automated controls and insulation upgrades that reduce energy consumption. The maximum grant amount is $250,000, and the maximum loan amount is $25 million per applicant.

USDA is offering a second type of grant to support organizations that help farmers, ranchers and small businesses conduct energy audits and operate renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include: units of state, tribal or local governments; colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning; rural electric cooperatives and public power entities, and conservation and development districts. The maximum grant is $100,000.

The REAP program was created in the 2002 Farm Bill. Because of the success of the program, Congress reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill with guaranteed funding of no less than $50 million in annual funding for the duration of the 5 year bill. The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers.

Since 2009, USDA has awarded $545 million for more than 8,800 REAP projects nationwide. This includes $361 million in REAP grants and loans for more than 2,900 renewable energy systems. When fully operational, these systems are expected to generate more than 6 billion kilowatt hours annually – enough to power more than 5.5 million homes for a year.

In 2013, owners of the Ideal Dairy restaurant in Richfield, Utah, used REAP funding to install 80 solar modules and two 10-kilowatt inverters, which convert energy from solar panels to electricity. The owners have saved, on average, $400 per month. These savings have helped them preserve their restaurant and livelihood.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

WASHINGTON–The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that the Impact Investment Fund of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program has tripled in the last 12 months.

“Capital investment in some sectors, geographies and industries is still lower than you would expect and like. Through the Impact Investment Fund, we’ve sent a message to professional fund managers with expertise in areas like clean energy, education technology, and advanced manufacturing as well as those looking for 'off the beaten path' gems in low income or economic distressed communities across the country. SBICs as a whole, fill capital formation gaps at the low end of the middle market, the Impact Fund, puts a magnifying glass where the gaps are widest," said SBA Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation Javier Saade.

The SBA began 2014 with two Impact SBICs managing $182 million and ended the year with six Impact SBICs collectively managing between $442 million and $572 million in total assets depending on the amount of credit guarantees approved and employed.   Given the SBIC Impact Investment Fund is still well below the originally expected $1 billion leverage level, there is room to further grow the list of professional investors interested in pursuing impact strategies.

Three of the six Impact SBICs have not deployed capital.  The other three have invested in 33 companies across the country and collectively employ approximately 4,600 people.  These companies include an organic cage-free poultry operation in Texas, a wood waste-to-pellet fuel concern in Michigan and an educational institution in an urban low-income community in Puerto Rico.

One of the policy changes made was seemingly simple but equally meaningful – the Impact Investing Initiative became the Impact Investment Fund, making it a permanent feature of the SBIC Program.  The Fund uses the rapidly evolving strategies that involve marrying financial gains and intentional social returns to narrow gaps.

Initially, SBIC’s were limited to SBA-identified impact investments, but now because of the flexibility of the Impact Investment Fund, participating funds can identify and pursue their own strategies.  In addition to the expansion of this fund, SBA removed several key barriers that prevented access to it by:

  • Lifting the $200 million restriction to offer licensed Impact SBICs better access to leverage;
  • Removing the waiting period in accessing multiple leverage commitments; and
  • Permitting existing SBICs to opt-in if they meet the Impact Fund requirements.

The reasons for the relatively slow deployment of impact investing strategies at the institutional level are varied and complex, but one of the main reasons, is the adoption of standards to measure intentional social impact has been spotty.  The SBA and the federal government, supports the adoption of standards to further enable more institutional private capital flow to the small business community.

Information on the fund and the policy can be found here.  The changes were made based on feedback from a significant number of private sector stakeholders and were consistent with themes the SBA heard from impact investors the White House roundtable on Impact Investing that was held this past summer.  The comments align with the recommendations of the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing released this summer and with the findings of the G8 Task Force on Social Impact Investing, Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets.

The six Impact SBICs are:

2011Michigan Growth Capital Partners SBIC, LP
2012SJF Ventures III, LP
2014Bridges Ventures U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund, LP
2014Morgan Stanley Impact Fund
2014Bluehenge Secured Debt SBIC, LP
2014*Renovus Capital Partners, LP

The Provident Bank Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities in Provident Bank's marketplace. Since its founding in 2003, the Provident Bank Foundation has granted more than $19 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities.

The Provident Bank Foundation makes grants in three priority areas: community enrichment, education, and health, youth & families.

  • Our giving to community enrichment focuses on programs that drive economic development, contribute to a more well-rounded community experience, and provide increased access to information and specialized learning opportunities.
  • Our efforts in education support innovative programming that expands access to, and improves the quality of, well-rounded educational experiences for people of all ages.
  • Our contributions to health, youth, and families aim to ensure people of all ages and means have the ability to improve the quality of their lives, including having a safe place to live and access to quality healthcare.

 

Click HERE for the full details about this RFP.

 

HOW TO APPLY

 

This is a two-step process. All applicants must complete and submit the online Letter of Intent (LOI). Only submit one entry per organization.

 

Step 1: Complete the Online LOI form

 

  • Your application will not be reviewed unless an LOI has been submitted
  • Any questions regarding navigating the online system, review the Step- by-Step Guide

NEW YORK
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that it will open Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC) in West Seneca on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, and in Attica on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. The location of the DLOCs will make it convenient for those affected by the severe winter storm that occurred Nov. 19 – 26, 2014 to apply for disaster loan assistance.

The declaration covers Erie County and the adjacent counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara, and Wyoming in New York.

CALIFORNIA

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to California residents and business owners affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred December 11‑12, 2014, U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s designated representative, Mark S. Ghilarducci, Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, on December 24.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in San Mateo County and in the neighboring counties of Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s San Francisco District Director Mark Quinn. “Beginning Monday, January 5, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Quinn continued.

ARKANSAS

Small, nonfarm businesses in the Arkansas counties of Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Monroe, Saint Francis and Woodruff are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the hail in Saint Francis County that occurred October 2, 2014, announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center ‑ West.

IOWA & NEBRASKA

Small, nonfarm businesses in five Iowa counties and neighboring counties in Nebraska are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the freeze in the following primary county that occurred on May 16, 2014, announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center - West.

Primary Iowa County: Harrison;
Neighboring Iowa counties: Crawford, Monona, Pottawattamie and Shelby;
Neighboring Nebraska counties: Burt and Washington.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on December 24, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

 

 

Purpose

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious threats to the health of our nation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), through its commitment to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic, has provided national leadership in efforts to achieve a healthy weight for all of our nation’s children, especially in lower-income communities and communities of color. This landmark work continues today as part of its vision to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer and healthier lives, now and for generations to come.

Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity is an RWJF national program. The program supports research on environmental and policy strategies with strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities. Findings are expected to advance RWJF’s efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and help all children achieve a healthy weight.

This call for proposals (CFP) focuses on childhood obesity prevention efforts in two settings:

Healthy Food Retail
Early Care and Education

Total Awards

Approximately $425,000 will be awarded under this CFP. Awards up to 12 months and up to $75,000 each will be funded through this special solicitation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for projects that require between $25,000 and $75,000 to complete. Approximately two-thirds of the funds available will be allocated to studies focused on healthy food retail and one-third will be allocated to studies focused on early care and education.
Key Dates

December 3, 2014
RWJF online system for concept papers will be available to applicants.

January 7, 2015 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of concept papers.

January 21, 2015
Applicants will be contacted by email and informed as to whether or not they are invited to submit a full proposal. Invited full proposals must be submitted via the RWJF online system.*

March 4, 2015 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of invited full proposals.

Late April 2015
Notification of finalists.

Summer 2015
Projects begin.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations.
Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
The focus of this program is the United States; studies in other countries will be considered only to the extent that they may directly inform U.S. policy.

Coaching has become a leading resource that business leaders are taking advantage of to create highly successful businesses. The one misunderstanding is that to use a business coach your business needs to be larger, but that’s not the case at all.

Coaching can help create clarity and direction in any size business. Working with a business coach can help to determine what it is you want to create, the reason it is important, and how you plan to reach that goal. It can help you to create an action plan and then achieve the goals you set.

If you had an empowering way that you could commit to and then achieve your business goals, would you not want to take advantage of it? Well you do, it’s called business coaching.

Business Coaching Helps You to Become Clear on Your Goals
It is important that you are clear on what it is you want from your business along with how you plan to get it. Then you will need to determine what your commitment is. A business coach can help you to create clear goals and plans on achieving those goals.

Business Coaching Aids You to be Effective and Productive

When it comes to support, business coaching provides individual attention along with the challenge and objectiveness that are needed. A skilled business coach is very successful because he or she can:

* Inspire you to expand your solutions
* Keep you focused on your goals
* Make you accountable for your progress
* Support you through the change
* Remove any obstacles so that you can move forward
* Prioritize based on your values
* Challenges you to take the next step

Business Coaching Connects You to What’s Important
Your business coach will help to build a foundation that’s grounded so that you make decisions that are in alignment with your value system and what you value most. They will also help you to create a plan that will ensure your daily actions are in alignment with the values. This is the key to creating commitment breakthroughs.

A small business can benefit as much from a business coach as a larger business. Your business coach isn’t there to make decisions for you, but rather to be a sounding board and to help guide you in the direction that is right for you and your business. Take advantage of outside help to grow your business.

Are you interested in Business Coaching?  Let us know.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced recently that USDA is investing $29 million to provide affordable housing for farm laborers and their families.

"Housing is often the first step on the road to more economic prosperity for farmworker families," Vilsack said. "These loans and grants will significantly improve the lives of farmworkers, who are vital to America's agriculture sector. This program is one of many tools that USDA has to strengthen the rural economy, which will help bring a brighter future for children from farmworker families."

USDA is providing assistance through the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant program. Financing is available to qualified organizations to develop housing for domestic farm laborers. USDA also provides rental assistance to help very-low-income families afford the monthly rent.

Through today's announcement, USDA is awarding $20.7 million in loans and $8.3 million in grants for 10 projects in six states. When completed, the properties will provide 320 farmworker families with new homes. Rental assistance will be offered for 315 of the new housing units.

"I have witnessed firsthand the way these loans and grants help farmworkers and their communities," said Tony Hernandez, Administrator of USDA's Rural Housing Service, which runs the Farm Labor Housing program. Earlier this month, Hernandez toured the Sugarloaf Apartments farm labor housing complex in Hendersonville, N.C. Since the complex opened in 1995, it is usually fully occupied. Sugarloaf has two day care facilities onsite, one of which is year-round, making it a convenient place for residents to work and raise their families.

Below is a complete list of loan and grant recipients announced today. Funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of their agreements.

California

  • Coachella Valley Villa Hermosa Phase II – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to add 68 units to the complex.
  • Peoples Self Help – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 33 units.
  • 9355 Avenida Maria – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 60 units.
  • 1006 Golden Valley – $3 million loan. Funds will be used to develop 41 units.

Colorado

  • San Luis Valley – $1.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 30 units.
  • Straton Area Foundation – $750,000 loan and $1.6 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 12 units.

Florida

  • Homestead Housing Authority – $2 million loan and $1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.

Mississippi

  • BDT Housing – $1.5 million loan and $1.1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.

Oregon

  • Farmworker Housing Development Corporation – $1 million loan and $2 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 20 units.

Washington

  • Grant County Housing Authority – $2 million loan and $1 million grant. Funds will be used to develop 16 units.

USDA Rural Development provided a $3.3 million low-interest Farm Labor Housing loan to build Villa Hermosa – apartment-style housing for migrant workers in Indio, Calif. Construction began in 2012. The complex is adjacent to the Fred Young Labor Camp, which began in the late 1930s as one-room, dirt-floor wooden shacks. It was converted in the 1960s to small, cinder-block apartments without heat or air conditioning.

The $3 million loan USDA announced today will finance a second phase of construction at Villa Hermosa. It will finance 68 more apartments for the remaining occupants at the nearby Fred Young facility. Phase Two will have spacious units with heat and air conditioning, private patios, washer/dryers, dishwashers, a community center, a garden, playgrounds and a computer lab. For some residents, this will be their first home with carpets.

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program reached a lending record in 2014, as announced today by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  By the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), SBA had approved 52,044 7(a) loans for $19.19 billion, an increase of 12 percent in number loans and 7.4 percent in dollar amount over fiscal year 2013.

The 7(a) program is designed to provide small businesses with the most comprehensive type of financial assistance to cover the vast majority of business expenses, such as short and long-term working capital, exports, and refinancing existing debt under certain conditions.

“As our economy continues to grow and recover, small businesses are the essential fuel to that continued growth,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Thanks to the hard work and outreach by our lending partners, SBA staff, and our resource partners, as well as the small business owners themselves, we have been able to put more capital into the hands of our nation’s entrepreneurs. We know that America’s small businesses pack the biggest punch, creating two out of every three net new private sector jobs in the U.S. These small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities, so their success and expansion is vital to the nation’s economic growth.”

SBA had been authorized $17.5 billion in the FY 2014 lending program.  It became clear that lending would exceed that amount; therefore the agency secured an increase for the 7(a) program in the Continuing Resolution that was approved in mid-September.

Other SBA loans that did well in fiscal 2014 were those $150,000 and under. Spurred by the fee relief implemented at the beginning of the fiscal year (fees were set to zero), these loans saw an increase of 23 percent in number of loans (30,675) and 29 percent in approved dollars ($1.86 billion) over fiscal year 2013 (24,923 and $1.44 billion respectively).

Fee relief was also instrumental in helping veteran small business owners through the Veteran Advantage initiative (zero fees on loans $150,000 to $350,000 to veterans.) Fee relief for veterans began January 1, 2014, and by the end of the fiscal year amounted to $610,000. Fee relief for both loans $150,000 and under, and for Veterans Advantage, was extended through fiscal year 2015.

Small businesses reflect the dynamic demographics of the United States. In FY 2014, the number of SBA loans to African Americans grew by roughly 36 percent over the previous year. For Hispanics and women, there was an increase of 14 percent for each group.

In our efforts to reach out and help small businesses across the nation, lenders play an important role as partners, as it is through them that SBA financial assistance is channeled and managed. In FY 2014, SBA added 308 new lenders that, collectively, made 684 loans for nearly $317 million.

As exports continue to play a pivotal role in strengthening the nation’s economy, SBA loans to exporters grew by 3.7 percent in number of loans and 12 percent in dollar amount over last year.

One of the ways in which SBA helps small businesses is through providing essential bid and performance bonds to small contractors, which allows these small businesses to be more competitive when bidding on contracts, be they with the government or the private sector. In fiscal year 2014, SBA Office of Surety Bond Program saw an increase of four percent in total contract value, from $6.168 billion in FY 2013 to $6.413 billion in FY 2014. Total bond contract amount also grew from $1.262 billion in FY 2013 to $1.358 in FY 2014, an increase of eight percent.

Washington, DC-The accomplishments of Veteran small business owners around the country were celebrated during National Veterans Small Business Week.

U.S. Small Business Administration district offices and resource partners nationwide hosted more than 100 local events, including entrepreneurship training such as Boots to Business: Reboot classes, veteran access to capital workshops, and government contracting roundtables.

Veteran entrepreneurship workshops were also held at U.S. military installations in Germany and Korea.  On Friday, the ABC television network hosted a special “Shark Tank(link is external)” episode featuring veteran entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas.

“In a significant way, veteran small business owners continue to serve America in a big way by employing more than six million workers, running one of every 10 small companies and generating more than $1.2 trillion in receipts every year,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  “National Veterans Small Business Week is a great opportunity to expand the ranks of veteran entrepreneurship.  We are proud of the men and women who continue to play such a critical role in the economic growth of our nation.”

In addition to the SBA’s district offices and resource partners, the White House, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are involved in supporting NVSBW events.

Each year the SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists start and grow their small businesses.  To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit the SBA website.

The Rhode Island Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2015 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship, an annual program to stimulate solutions to the state’s challenges.

Made possible through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Letitia and John Carter, the program will award two applicants up to $300,000 over three years to develop, test and implement innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically improve any area of life in Rhode Island.

“This initiative enhances Rhode Island’s reputation as a place of innovation and ingenuity. Letitia and John Carter are to be applauded for having the vision to invest in encouraging bold thinkers to bring their ideas to life,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Preference will be given to proposals that promise the greatest good for the greatest number of Rhode Islanders, a small idea that has big potential to be built to scale or new approaches to long-standing, intractable challenges.

“Letitia and I strongly believe in the potential of creative thinking and exceptional originality to power Rhode Island’s growth. We are excited to see the proposals that this platform for change generates,” said John Carter.

Although applicants do not have to be residents of Rhode Island when they apply, they must commit to living in Rhode Island during the term of the Fellowship if selected.

The deadline to apply is Fri., Dec. 12. The one-page, initial application asks applicants to summarize their proposed innovation in no more than 150 words and to describe how it would benefit Rhode Islanders.

In February 2015, the selection panel will ask a group of semi-finalists to submit a more detailed application and a short video. The Foundation expects to announce the winners in April.

Steinberg will chair the selection committee. The other members are Patricia Flanagan, Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of Clinical Affairs, Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Ted Nesi, Political and Economic Reporter, WPRI; Lisa Utman Randall, Executive Director, Jamestown Arts Center; Dan Shedd, President, Taylor Box Company; Rosanne Somerson, Interim President, Rhode Island School of Design; and Don Stanford, Chief Innovation Officer, GTECH.

This will be the fourth round of funding. Previous rounds generated more than 900 applications. Soren Ryherd and Allan Tear received the inaugural Fellowships in 2012.

Ryherd’s “The Retail Project” has created three on-line stores to date, with the goal of opening brick and mortar stores in Rhode Island neighborhoods.

Tear's "RallyRI" initiative is building platforms to help entrepreneurs launch start-ups in sectors such as art and design, food and beverage and advanced manufacturing.

The 2013 Fellows are Adrienne Gagnon and Dr. Lynn Taylor.

Gagnon’s “Innovation by Design” proposal will help foster the next generation of Rhode Island innovators by sending out mobile design labs to school yards throughout Rhode Island in order to engage students in free, hands-on design programs that will improve our communities.

Taylor’s project, “Rhode Island Defeats Hep C,” aims to make Rhode Island the first state to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus infection using a comprehensive approach that includes increasing awareness, rapid testing, linkage to health care, building infrastructure for a sustainable model and evaluation.

The 2014 Fellows are Amy Bernhardt and David Dadekian.

Bernhardt’s project, "Colorfast," will create a state-of-the-art research and manufacturing pilot facility for the design and production of digitally printed textiles.

Dadekian’s project, the "Eat Drink Rhode Island Central Market," would house a number of food and drink related businesses, including a public market, commercial production and processing facilities, and an educational component.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.