July 23, 2021

Grants to Strengthen Economically Distressed Regions - Ongoing

Federal grants to develop and implement regional economic development strategies, with an emphasis on economically distressed areas. Applicants must create or verify the required registrations well in advance of applying.

U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) programs provide economically distressed communities and regions with comprehensive and flexible resources to address a wide variety of economic needs, and are designed to lead to the creation and retention of jobs and increased private investment. EDA’s programs fund and promote local and regional economic development capacity-building efforts that result in or are instrumental in establishing vibrant economies throughout the United States. Through these programs, EDA supports locally-driven strategies that build on regional assets to spur economic prosperity and resiliency. EDA encourages initiatives that present new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

EDA Investment Priorities

All proposed projects are evaluated to determine the extent to which they align with EDA’s capacity-building 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 align with at least one of the following investment priorities:

  1. Collaborative Regional Innovation: Projects that support the development and growth of innovation clusters based on existing regional competitive strengths.
  2. Public/Private Partnerships: Projects that use both public and private sector resources and complementary investments by other government/public entities and/or nonprofits.
  3. National Strategic Priorities: Projects that:
    1. encourage job growth and business expansion in manufacturing, including advanced manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, and manufacturing supply chains;
    2. assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal;
    3. increase economic resiliency, including resilience to the effects of natural disasters and climate change;
    4. assist with natural disaster mitigation and recovery;
    5. are aimed at restoring or improving urban waters and the communities that surround them; and
    6. assist and/or support:
      1. information technology infrastructure (for example, broadband or smart grid);
      2. communities severely impacted by automotive industry restructuring;
      3. job-driven skills development;
      4. access to capital for small- and medium-sized and ethnically diverse enterprises;
      5. innovations in science and health care; and
      6. advancement of science and research parks, other technology transfer, or technology commercialization efforts.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Underserved Communities: Projects that strengthen diverse communities that have suffered disproportionate economic distress and job losses and/or are rebuilding to become more competitive in the global economy.

The average size of a Planning investment has been approximately $70,000, and investments generally range from $40,000 to $200,000.

Learn more here.

Learn more about EDA funding opportunities.