Through President Joseph R. Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Economic Development Administration (EDA) was allocated an unprecedented $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities nationwide in building back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and strengthening local economies to be more resilient to future economic shocks.

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced six, innovative EDA American Rescue Plan programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities. These programs will make this critical funding available for communities across the country as they build back better and create good-paying jobs.

Press Release and Fact Sheet
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Here is what we know:

  • $3 billion in funding is available via 6 individual programs, which will be open through 6 individual NOFOs
  • Deadlines for application range from as little as 45 days to March of 2022
  • EDA is hosting webinars on July 27 and July 28 to help communities learn more and prepare to apply
  • “Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes” eligible to apply in all 6 programs

The 6 programs include:

  • Build Back Better Challenge
    • $1 billion in funding
    • Competitive grants are open to all typically eligible organizations
    • Will make ‘transformational’ grants in support of building or scaling regional industry clusters
    • The program will have 2 phases, with 2 corresponding award rounds — Phase 1 (deadline of October 19, 2021) will provide planning grants of $500,000 to 50-60 entities in support of developing plans for projects supporting cluster growth; Phase 2 (deadline of March 15, 2022) will provide awards of between $25 and $75 million (but may go as high as $100 million) to 20-30 entities to implement Phase 1 plans
  • Good Jobs Challenge
    • $500 million in funding
    • Deadline January 26, 2022
    • Competitive grants to build and strengthen industry-led workforce training systems and partnerships
    • Funding will be awarded to projects addressing 3 phases of building and strengthening industry-led workforce training systems and partnerships — Phase 1 is System Development, funding for building or strengthening a network of workforce partnerships; Phase 2 is Program Design, funding for development of training materials, curriculum, and securing technical expertise, Phase 3 is Program Implementation, funding for implementing non-construction projects needed to provide training
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance
    • $500 million in funding
    • Deadline of March 15, 2022
    • Standard Economic Adjustment Assistance program grants
    • EDA’s most flexible funding, which can be used for many things, including infrastructure, technical assistance, and access to capital
  • Indigenous Communities Challenge
    • $100 million in funding
    • Deadline of March 15, 2021
    • Economic Adjustment Assistance-style funding available exclusively to indigenous communities and non-profit organizations that serve them
  • Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation
    • $750 million in funding
    • 2 Phases, including invitation-only state funding and a competitive grant
    • Phase 1 is invite-only to governor’s and includes $510 million in funding for projects that support travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation communities that were impacted by COVID-19; the deadline for this phase is 60 days after the invitation has been sent
    • Phase 2 is an open competitive grant with $210 million in funding for projects that support travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation communities that were impacted by COVID-19; the deadline for this phase is March 15, 2022
    • The project type for this initiative is Economic Adjustment Assistance-style funding, which is highly flexible and can be used for many types of projects, including infrastructure, technical assistance, marketing, and access to capital
  • Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks
    • $90 million in funding
    • 2 separate initiatives in this bucket
    • State Planning Grants ($59 million) are by invitation only, and the application deadline is 45 days after the governor’s offices receive the invite.
    • Research and Network Grants ($31 million) are competitive and have a deadline of October 31, 2021; the funding supports research that assesses the effectiveness of EDA’s programs and supports the stakeholder community around EDA’s initiatives

You can visit >< for more information about the programs.