Rural Economic Development Initiative

The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program is designed to help rural communities comprehensively diversify their local economy and create a more resilient Colorado.


The most successful applications to this program are those from counties with less than 50,000 people, and from communities with fewer than 25,000 people. Projects that will be funded include plans, construction, programs, and capacity building. All applications must create and retain jobs, either direct or indirect. Projects should fall into one or more of the following categories: 

  • Job creation and retention - Both through direct and indirect means.  
  • Capacity building - Under special circumstances DOLA will consider funding local economic development capacity. Staff must be tied to a specific outcome, project, and timeline, which contributes to goals of job creation, business attraction/retention, and economic resilience.  
  • Economic resilience - Economic resilience is the ability of a community’s economy and systems that support the economy to withstand disruption and thrive in the face of change. 
  • Supports entrepreneurial ecosystems - Entrepreneurial ecosystems provide trainings, networking opportunities, and infrastructure to support local entrepreneurs.       

All projects should be identified as a priority for the community within a comprehensive and holistic approach.

Application and Forms

In order to amplify the impact of Colorado Restaurant Association's Winter Outdoor Dining Fund, DOLA's Rural Economic Development Initiative will be opening a special cycle for local governments to support their restaurants and downtowns during winter. Types of eligible expenses include infrastructure to support outdoor dining (such as shelter, heaters, and lighting), support for takeout/delivery programs, as well as programs or projects that intend to attract consumers to downtowns during winter. The cycle is open November 30 -December 11. 



Program Contacts

Kate Guibert
Rural Prosperity Manager