November 10, 2014 –STAMFORD, CT AND ENGLEWOOD, CO AND DENVER, CO, Nov 10, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Frontier Communications and DISH Network today welcomed CoBank as a new sponsor of their America’s Best Communities contest, an innovative $10 million prize competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and rural towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.
The America’s Best Communities contest will help address the need for growth 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.
CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, has long worked to invest and support development in rural America. This new partnership with Frontier and DISH is among their latest efforts to foster sustained economic momentum in rural areas of the U.S.
“We’re delighted to welcome CoBank as a partner in this important initiative to help revitalize small towns and cities in rural America,” said Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “We want this contest to challenge and incent local leaders to come up with new ideas that will transform their cities and towns through economic development and lifestyle improvements. The people of rural America are its greatest asset, and we hope this competition brings communities together, sparks innovation and creates a long-lasting, positive impact.”
“CoBank offers important insight into the needs of smaller communities and having their support for the America’s Best Communities contest will help inspire more innovation and entrepreneurialism to spring forth from small and rural towns and cities,” said DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton. “Every small community has a story to tell — which is why we are investing in America’s Best Communities. We want to help create an opportunity for the best ideas that lead to thriving communities to be identified and shared.”
“We’re extremely pleased to be joining with Frontier and DISH as a sponsor of this highly innovative campaign,” said Robert B. Engel, CoBank’s chief executive officer. “Rural community development is the central focus of CoBank’s corporate social responsibility program, and closely aligned with our broader mission to serve rural America. We look forward to seeing proposals generated by the ABC contest, and the tangible benefits it will deliver to all communities who decide to participate.”
Conceived by Frontier, the America’s Best Communities (ABC) contest provides financial incentives to encourage participating communities to put together long-term economic development proposals that promise to grow and sustain their local economies. The contest will provide $4 million in seed money and other support to assist participating communities as they draw up revitalization plans. Three communities will receive a total of $6 million in prize money to implement winning proposals when the contest concludes in 2017.
The multi-stage contest is open to communities with populations between 9,500 and 80,000 and located within 27 states that Frontier serves. Communities with populations under 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.
To qualify, communities must submit economic development proposals in early 2015. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, the pool of participating communities will gradually be narrowed in stages, and selected communities will receive financial support to refine and implement their plans. Up to 50 communities will be awarded $35,000 to further develop plans, and eight communities will be selected to receive $100,000 to initiate their proposals.
Ultimately, three communities will be designated winners of the contest and receive cash prizes of $3 million for first place, $2 million for second and $1 million for third. This prize money will help ensure winning communities have the resources necessary to turn the visions outlined in their proposals into reality.
For more information and to learn how to apply, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.