The Cape Cod License Plate grant program focuses on regional priorities for economic development, determined annually, that align with implementation of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Barnstable County has typically distributed license plate funds through major grants and micro grants. The grants' eligible recipients are non-profits and municipalities. The specific priorities identified in the most recent CEDS are:
- Economic resiliency
- Infrastructure investment - particularly wastewater, telecommunications, distributed energy generation, and housing affordability
- Entrepreneurship and Sector Development investments
- Workforce and Business Development
Major grants focus on funding systemic changes needed to achieve long-term economic diversity and sustainability. Projects should build on local and regional planning efforts, focused on infrastructure and capital facilities, housing, economic development, land use, natural resource protection, climate change, and sea level rise. Ideally, projects will implement planning recommendations such as zoning and related regulatory changes; the design of infrastructure improvements; strategic property acquisitions; and other activities necessary to address major impediments to economic development in the region
Eligibility and Award Frequency: Non-profit organizations and units of local government, including departments and agencies of Barnstable County, are eligible for grants under this program. Proposals for Major Grants will only be accepted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by Barnstable County. Depending on the availability of funds, this may occur annually, but may be less frequent. The RFP will be reviewed by the Barnstable County Economic Development Council (BCEDC) based on CEDS priorities. Barnstable County Commissioners will approve all grant awards.
Duration: Major Grants can be up to $150,000 (per year/per project) and can span up to three years. A one-to-one match is required of applicants. Match funding can support staff time, consulting services, and essential materials for the project.
Micro grants provide quick, flexible funding necessary to boost or expand an economic development-related initiative. The guidelines will be broadly defined to allow applicants as much creativity as possible.
Eligibility and Award Frequency: Non-profit organizations and units of local government are eligible for grants under this program. They may submit online applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. Grant proposals will be reviewed by the BCEDC twice a year, and the BCEDC will recommend awards to the Barnstable County Commissioners for their approval.
Duration: Micro grants will support projects to be completed within one calendar year. The maximum award amount will be $10,000 with no match required.
County and Commission Roles
The BCEDC is responsible for determining grant priorities, reviewing grant proposals, and making funding recommendations to the Barnstable County Commissioners for grant awards.
Commission staff will support the grant program, providing administrative support to prepare the on-line proposal site and application forms, prepare RFPs, advise applicants of process, coordinate sub-committee meetings and grant approvals through the Barnstable County Commissioners, and correspond with applicants regarding the award decisions and with grant recipients regarding disbursement of funds and progress reporting.