Community Challenge Grant


The Paradox Community Trust (PCT) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for community and economic development initiatives in the Paradox Mineral Belt communities (including Rico, Norwood, Redvale, Nucla, Naturita, Paradox, and Bedrock). This new grant program evolved from our previous Small Business Technical Assistance grants as well as from community discussions around economic development in rural communities, which were held July 2015 and facilitated by Ines Polonius from Communities Unlimited. 2016 was the first year of Community Challenge Grant Funding, which was met with great success. The PCT wants to continue to build on this success by opening another year of funding to the program.


Project proposals must be designed to promote economic development.  Successful projects will build upon and use local assets and resources to create locally owned commercial activities that meet a specific market demand. Local assets include people, places, and know-how. Market demand includes commercial markets for products or services within or outside the region. This program will consider any idea, large or small, that will benefit the economy of the community and improve the quality of life; however, primarily capital oriented projects will not be considered.

Examples of community challenge grant proposals include: 1) public lands, recreation, and historic opportunities to generate new tourism capacity and capture more money spent locally; a project might include developing more online tourism marketing (i.e. creation of vacation itineraries, yelp reviews, etc.); 2) Building on community beautification projects, including removal of abandoned property, to allow for new community spaces and business opportunities; 3) Connecting local artisans existing and expanded markets and providing spaces and opportunities for them to display their work and generate commercial opportunities.

Examples of activities that do NOT fit grant criteria include:  1) a funding request to support an individual business, such as business consulting or website development; 2) recruitment of national chain businesses; 3) a one-time or annual festival to attract tourism; 4) construction of a new co-working space.


  • Proposals must come from teams, consisting of at least three team members or organizations representing different sectors of the community, e.g. local businesses, nonprofit organizations, government entities, or community members.
  • No individuals, capital projects or events will be funded.
  • Prior applicants and grantees can reapply.


  • Grants will be available for up to $10,000. Smaller requests are encouraged. The duration of the grant will be one year, but exceptions will be considered based on the project plan and goals.
  • A 10% of the total project budget match is required. A cash match is preferred, but in-kind donations (e.g. labor hours, donated material, etc.) are acceptable.

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Paradox Community Trust Board and staff. The process may include an interview.

  • All applications are due by February 13th, 2017 at 5pm
  • Notice of awards will be sent out by March 10th, 2017

How to Apply

  • Fill out the word application document application below.
  • Email the complete application as a PDF to by February 13th, 2017 at 5pm.

Click here for the application.

Click here for the guidelines.

See the latest press release announcing the Community Challenge Grants here: