On May 7, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.
EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants available under the authority of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders. The EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Projects eligible for EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance include economic recovery planning and preparation of technical assistance strategies to address economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preparing or updating resiliency plans to respond to future pandemics, implementing entrepreneurial support programs to diversify economies and constructing public works and facilities that will support economic recovery, including the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills.
Eligible applicants under the EAA program include:
- State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
- District organization;
- Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
- Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
- Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.
The EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants will be awarded to successful applications on a rolling basis. EDA began accepting applications on May 7, 2020 and will distribute funding as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible.
EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. EDA grants are critical for county economic development, particularly in rural areas, where such resources are often scarce. NACo policy supports EDA, a vital resource for local economic development.
For additional NACo resources, please see the following links:
- NACo Policy Brief: U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA): Support Essential Seed Capital/Gap Financing for Local Job Creation
- NACo Blog: NACo testifies on the role of EDA in economic development and recovery