Economic Development Administration Grants
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) works in partnership with state and local governments, regional economic development districts, public and private nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes. EDA helps distressed communities address problems associated with long-term economic distress, as well as sudden and severe economic dislocations. EDA was established to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, stimulate economic growth in economically distressed areas. EDA programs promote comprehensive innovation based economic development efforts to enhance the competitiveness of regions; support technology led development, accelerate new business development and enhance the ability of regions to capitalize on opportunities presented by free trade, resulting in increased private investment and higher skill, higher-wage jobs.
EDA will provide public works investments to support the construction or rehabilitation of essential public infrastructure and facilities necessary to generate or retain private sector jobs and investments. EDA can also fund technical assistance projects and other related projects.
NEPA is the designated Regional Economic Development District for EDA. In this capacity, NEPA prepares the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Northeastern Pennsylvania, identifies and ranks projects seeking EDA investment assistance; and provides technical assistance in the grant application process.
Eligible applicants include private or public non-profit organizations, higher education; local units of government; municipal authorities, for profit, private sector entities do not qualify for EDA investment assistance. Projects funded by EDA in this region include infrastructure, industrial/business park site development, incubators, accelerators, downtown revitalization, specialized studies, rail line rehabilitation and others
EDA investments must support new private investment and jobs. Grants are generally limited to 50% of projects costs but can increase, dependent on the level of economic distress .Grant awards generally do not exceed $1,000,000 but can be higher.
Distress criteria focuses on income levels and unemployment rates that meet certain thresholds. There are exemptions based on special economic needs due to a major plant closing, industry sector restructuring or a major economic opportunity and others.
Kurt Bauman – Vice President, Community Services Division