On July 22, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the six programs to equitably invest $3 billion allocated under the American Rescue Plan. This EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades. Collectively called Investing in America’s Communities the programs include:
• $1 billion for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge
• $500 million for the Good Jobs Challenge
• $500 million for Economic Adjustment Assistance
• $100 million for Indigenous Communities
• $750 million for Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation
• $90 million for Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks
The programs aim to assist communities by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and build local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. EDA will make grants to state and local governmental entities, institutions of higher education, not-for-profit entities, unions, and Tribes. The CSPDC is in conversations with local localities regarding potential applications.