About the Frontier Communities Initiative
The Frontier Communities Initiative was established by the New Mexico state legislature and signed into law by Governor Martinez in 2013, as a community economic development partnership program of the Economic Development Department with a local applicant community and coordinated through the New Mexico MainStreet Program. The program provides professional technical assistance to communities selected to participate through an application process. The Frontier Communities program is not a grant program, and direct funding for selected projects is not included with services and resources provided for the project.
Communities currently affiliated with the New Mexico MainStreet Program or the New Mexico Arts and Cultural District Program are not eligible to apply for the Frontier Communities Initiative. The number of Frontier Community projects is contingent upon the annual funding appropriated by the New Mexico State Legislature.
The purpose of the Frontier Community Initiative program is to provide community economic development support for small rural communities (less than 7,500 in population) to develop a catalytic economic development project within a traditional or historic commercial district (i.e. court house square, town center or village plaza) or historic commercial corridor. The proposed project should demonstrate its positive impact in job creation, business development or enhancing the economic environment for the community.
Additionally, the program hopes to plant the seeds to expand local capacity to develop “community-builders” – people continuing to work together after the project is finished to strengthen existing community development groups and support networks to continue the work of revitalization, bolster community pride and identity, preserve cultural heritage, transmit values and history, build economic and social capital and stimulate economic development.