Economic Development Administration Grants

The United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration provides grants that can be used for a range of capital investments including multimodal infrastructure projects. The applicants for these grants may not be for-profit entities, however most grants typically fund investments that provide direct benefits to private for-profit entities. These grants are typically pursued in close collaboration between the public and private spheres. For example a railroad, a manufacturer and a county might collaborate to support the county’s application for a public rail spur to support a factory expansion. EDA has two main grant programs:

  • Public Works & Economic Development Facilities Program.This program funds a range of capital investments such as rail and road connections or facility construction or improvements. This program requires non-federal matching and the investment must be in a federally designated economically distressed area. Between 2003 and 2012 EDA has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants from this program with an average grant size of $1.3 million.
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Program.This program provides a range of construction and non-construction assistance to regions experiencing severe economic dislocations. These dislocations can result from a range of situations including natural disasters, military base closures, trade related disruptions and major private sector employer restructurings. Between 2003 and 2012 EDA has awarded over $1.3 billion in grants from this program with an average grant size of $1 million.

The US Railroad Network and Federal Economically Distressed Areas as of Q3 2012In most cases EDA grant assistance requires a fifty percent non-federal funding match. EDA also provides smaller amounts of funding for a range of technical assistance and planning activities. These can be useful precursors to pursing funding from one of the main grant programs.

EDA’s strategic priorities are as follows:

  • Collaborative regional innovation
  • Public/private partnerships
  • National strategic priorities
  • Global competitiveness
  • Environmentally-sustainable development
  • Economically distressed and underserved communities

EDA grants are accepted on a rolling basis with evaluations performed quarterly. Commensurate with the scale of the funding available the application process is not as complex as for larger federal grant or loan programs. It does require close cooperation between public and private stakeholders, coordination in planning, and specific project development and outcome analyses that must be incorporated into a formal application document.

Seneca has extensive experience preparing applications for federal loan and grant assistance on behalf of both public and private entities. We can support your EDA grant application process from start to a successful conclusion. For more information please contact us.