Rural electric cooperatives and their members have a “one-stop shop” for finding federal, state and local aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a new catalogue of assistance programs put together by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA said the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide will serve as “a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.”

The guide is a matrix of links to various programs, financial aid, training and services that help rural parts of the country. Some of the programs were created by the recently enacted CARES Act that Congress passed last month.

NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said the help is coming right on time. “This new resource guide is an extremely useful tool for electric co-op communities as they seek various avenues of support during this pandemic,” he said.

For electric co-ops, there are direct links to technical, training and management assistance and financial aid from the Small Business Administration.

“This resource guide will help our rural leaders, whether they are in agriculture, education, health care or any other leadership capacity, understand what federal assistance is available for their communities during this unprecedented time,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

See NRECA’s coronavirus resources for co-ops, including guidance on business continuity planning and communication as well as event schedule changes.