The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA fulfills this mission through strategic investments and partnerships that create the regional economic ecosystems required to foster globally competitive regions throughout the United States. EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States by fostering job creation and attracting private investment. Specifically, under the Economic Development Assistance programs (EDAP) Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement, EDA will make construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs. Grants made under these programs will leverage regional assets to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, encourage economic development, and strengthen America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Through the EDAP FFO, EDA solicits applications from rural and urban communities to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.
EDA Investment Priorities
Through the competitive grant process outlined in this funding opportunity, all proposed projects are evaluated to determine the extent to which they align with EDA’s investment priorities, create or retain high-quality jobs, leverage public and private resources, demonstrate the ability to start the proposed project promptly and use funds quickly and effectively, and provide a clear scope of work and specific, measureable outcomes.
EDA’s investment priorities are designed to provide an overarching framework to guide the agency’s investment portfolio to ensure its investments have the greatest impact. Competitive applications will be responsive to the evaluation criteria listed in section V.A.2 of this FFO, and will align with at least one of the following investment priorities:
- Collaborative Regional Innovation
Projects that support the development and growth of innovation clusters based on existing Regional competitive strengths. Such initiatives must engage relevant stakeholders; facilitate collaboration among urban, suburban, and rural (including tribal) areas; provide stability for economic development through long-term intergovernmental and public/private collaboration; and support the growth of existing and emerging industries.
- Public/Private Partnerships
Projects that use both public- and private-sector resources and leverage complementary investments by other government/public entities and/or nonprofits.
- National Strategic Priorities
Projects that encourage job growth and business expansion in clean energy; green technologies; sustainable manufacturing; information technology infrastructure (for example, broadband or smart grid); communities severely impacted by automotive industry restructuring; natural disaster mitigation and resiliency; access to capital for small- and medium-sized and ethnically diverse enterprises; and innovations in science, health care, and alternative fuel technologies.
Under this FFO, EDA especially encourages projects that support increasing manufacturing, including advanced manufacturing, manufacturing supply chains and foreign direct investment in manufacturing facilities; projects that assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal; projects aimed at restoring or improving urban waters; projects that increase resiliency to the effects of climate change; and projects that advance science and research parks or other technology transfer or commercialization centers.
- Global Competitiveness
Projects that support high-growth businesses and innovation-based entrepreneurs to expand and compete in global markets, especially investments that expand U.S. exports, encourage foreign direct investment, and promote the repatriation of jobs back to the U.S.
- Environmentally-Sustainable Development
Projects that promote job creation and economic prosperity through enhancing environmental quality and developing and implementing green products, processes, places, and buildings as part of the green economy. This includes support for energy-efficient green technologies. Additional information is available on EDA’s website at http://www.eda.gov/pdf/GreenGrowthOverview.pdf
- Economically Distressed and Underserved Communities
Projects that strengthen communities that have suffered disproportionate economic distress and job losses and/or are rebuilding to become more competitive in the global economy.
Other tips regarding seeking EDA funding for projects:
EDA won’t fund any site development unless there is letter of commitment from a beneficiary (i.e., a company that commits to locate on the parcel if the infrastructure is in place).
While EDA will fund some tourism related investments, it is doubtful that these will be competitive projects due to the low wages paid to those workers in jobs related to these projects.
EDA will only review applications that have the required match share available. You can apply with the understanding that if an anticipated grant (e.g., CDBG) is not received that the applicant will agree to make the required match.
EDA eligibility requirements & criteria: http://www.eda.gov/how-to-apply/files/Eligibility-Requirements-and-Criteria.pdf
2015 EDA Programs Fact Sheet: http://www.eda.gov/funding-opportunities/files/2015-EDAP-FFO-Fact-Sheet.pdf
Link to full announcement and application package: http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=189193
ECC staff is available to assist member governments to evaluate the feasibility of EDA funding for infrastructure, business incubators, and training facilities.
For more information contact: