The U.S. EDA: A Resource for Community Economic Development Projects

Federal funding is available to aid municipalities in planning local economic development projects. Conducting a feasibility study is often a necessary step for projects, but requires a level of expertise difficult to obtain for communities that cannot afford top dollar consulting firms. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides a focused grant opportunity to help fund local feasibility studies and other economic development planning projects, under the ongoing Technical Assistance Program for FY 2016-2019.

The EDA has a history of supporting feasibility studies across North Carolina with this program. In 2017, the EDA invested $22,500 to help the Town of Tabor City explore the feasibility of developing a railway corridor. In 2015, the EDA invested $42,500 to fund a feasibility study in the Town of Haw River, to determine the viability of a craft brewing industry in a vacant textile mill.

Feasibility studies are just one form of economic technical assistance provided for under this program. Other activities funded include cluster studies, export strategies, and innovation assessments, all of which have great potential to inform local economic development decision-making. The EDA invests in projects that align with their respective economic development district’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The Centralina Economic Development District (CEDD) oversees the region’s CEDS, most recently updated as the 2017-2022 Prosperity for Greater CharlotteCEDS report. The CEDD is responsible for connecting communities with EDA funding opportunities like this one, and certifying their alignment with the CEDS.

For more information or assistance regarding this program, please contact us at cedd@centralina.org.

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