Frontier Communications and DISH Network launched on Wednesday America’s Best Communities, a $10 million prize competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27 state footprint.
America’s Best Communities contest will help address the need for growth, they said, by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies. The winning ideas then become available as a roadmap for growth for all rural communities across the U.S.
“There’s no force more powerful than community,” said Rhonda Lutzke, president, National Region, for Frontier Communications. “Our nation’s economic success is reliant upon the vibrancy and resiliency of small communities across America. Frontier Communications is dedicated to the communities we serve, and we want to empower them, through the America’s Best Communities contest, with the resources they need for change.”
America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year contest that provides $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop growth and revitalization plans and $6 million in prize money will be awarded to the top three communities. Municipalities with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 and located within Frontier’s footprint are eligible to apply. Those with populations under 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.
Communities must apply by Jan. 12, 2015, to qualify. Judges will then select up to 50 qualified applicants in February, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to develop their plans and proposals. These communities will then have seven months to refine and submit their final proposals in September 2015.
Up to 15 semifinalists will be selected in November 2015, and will attend America’s Best Communities summit in January 2016 to present their proposals. On Jan. 29, 2016, eight finalists will be selected and will be awarded $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities’ plans and bring them to life, while sharing their stories — and successes — along the way.
The America’s Best Communities top three competition winners, those with the most innovative, effective proposals, will be awarded $6 million in grand prizes on Oct. 18, 2017.
Information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at www.americasbestcommunities.com.
“We’re excited to work with and engage our communities like Minden, Gardnerville and others in this endeavor,” Lutzke said. “The innovative ideas that our small cities and towns identify and develop in the coming months will not only benefit them, but communities throughout rural America.