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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $1.5 Billion in CARES to Aid Communities

On March 27, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signedThe $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grant making. The remaining funds will be transferred to cover salaries and expenses and oversight activities.

Starting today - EDA will award grants to successful applications on a rolling basis. EDA began accepting applications on May 7, 2020 and will deploy its CARES Act funding as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible, and in a manner that meets the needs of these communities.

EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance will advance economic development in communities negatively impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • COVID-19 Economic Recovery Planning and Technical Assistance Grants: Provide economic recovery grants to each of EDA’s Economic Development Districts (EDDs), Tribal Grantees, and University Centers, and others.

  • Grants to state and regional organizations to develop CARES Act recovery and resilience strategies, including industry supply chain, cluster analyses, econometric analyses, diversification efforts, and travel and tourism-related marketing campaigns.

  • Capitalizing or Recapitalizing RLFs (PDF) across the nation targeting businesses in particularly economically distressed areas that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Innovation grants similar to Build to Scale, formerly known as Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS)-like awards focused on technology innovation activities that will help communities prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance include economic recovery planning and preparing 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 a(n):

  • District Organization;

  • Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;

  • 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;

  • 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.

Under our CARES Act Recovery Assistance, EDA generally expects to fund at least 80 percent, and up to 100 percent of eligible project costs. Please see the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance NOFO for more information on cost sharing or matching requirements.

Do you need help with your Scope of Work for EDA Economic Development Districts and EDA Indian Tribe Planning Grant Recipients or Scope of Work for University Center Grantees? GMA is ready to assist you with your EDA application. CONTACT US SOON to ensure our availability to assist you.

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