Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of February 17, 2020

The following is a selection of recent announcements gleaned from various federal sources and colleagues and is provided to EDA’s Economic Development Integrators to increase our awareness of complementary resources for economic development.

See more open funding opportunities at federal agencies on the EDI webpage at

Also visit the following links on our updated EDI webpages at for additional information about federal resources that are available to support comprehensive regional economic development strategies, including:

Click here to view all weekly federal announcement posts


Funding & Resource Announcements


In January, EDA made available two new resources to support local development strategies that seek to increase investment and job growth in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas:

  • CEDS Guidance Updated with Opportunity Zone Resources. EDA has updated the CEDS Content Guidelines to help communities across the country to maximize their ability to attract investment to Opportunity Zones. Find the updated CEDS content guidelines here.
  • USA Opportunity Zone Mapping Tool – S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), Indiana University (IU) and its Kelley School of Business launched the USA Opportunity Zones tool. The tool resides on the StatsAmerica platform. The tool combines location information for OZs with reports that list the EDDs and University Center programs serving the area, as well as nearby EDA investments and other demographic and economic metrics.
  • View EDA investments in projects located in and around Opportunity Zones here.

More resources to help communities leverage their OZ designations:

UPDATED:   Compilation of Federal Actions and Resources supporting OZs.

Available on HUD’s Opportunity Now, Opportunity Zones here.

Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones

Final rules issued by US Treasury and IRS in December 2019 are available at Updated FAQs are also available.



NEW: Webinar Feb 25 – EDA Announces New “Build to Scale” Program (formerly RIS).  Apply by March 24

EDA has redesigned its Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. With a 40 percent budget increase to $33M, and recent reauthorization, the new program is called Build to Scale (B2S), which builds regional economies through scalable startups. EDA also developed a streamlined application process for the 2020 competition, to keep up with increasing demand.

The Build to Scale Notice of Funding Opportunity is now live. EDA is accepting Concept Proposals through March 24, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.

Register for an informational webinar on February 25 at 3PM (ET) at to learn more.

The Build to Scale Program supports regional economic growth through three separate competitions:

  • VENTURE CHALLENGE (formerly “i6”) makes $26M available to support intermediary organizations like accelerators, universities, and non-profits supporting new business ventures.
  • CAPITAL CHALLENGE (formerly “Seed Fund Support”) makes $5M available to increase access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply.
  • INDUSTRY CHALLENGE (new for FY20) makes $4M available to support entrepreneurship and accelerate company growth within the Blue Economy. The FY20 Industry Challenge is produced and co-funded in partnership with the Department of Energy. The Industry Challenge will award grants to organizations that are:
    • Supporting commercialization of blue economy technologies
    • Improving competitiveness of blue economy startups
    • Increasing connectivity and collaboration between blue economy stakeholders
    • Leveraging the blue economy to support innovation and job creation

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) leads the Build to Scale Program. Please visit the Build to Scale Web page for more information.

LOI Due Mar 2:  USDA RD Loan Guarantees for Bio-Based Manufacturing

USDA’s  Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Bio-based Products Manufacturing Assistance Program provides loan guarantees to help develop, construct, or retrofit commercial-scale biorefineries and to develop renewable chemicals and bio-based product manufacturing facilities. Letter of Intent (Required): March 2, 2020.  Application Deadline: April 1, 2020


Apply by March 5. USDA’s  Value-Added Producer Grant

USDA Rural Development offers two types of grants, Planning and Working Capital, to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. Electronic Application Deadline: March 5, 2020 via | Paper Application Deadline: March 10, 2020


NEW: Apply by March 23:  Treasury Accepting Applications for CDFI Financial and Technical Assistance. Includes Assistance for Native American CDFIs.

The CDFI Program offers both Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards to CDFIs. These competitive awards support and enhance the ability of these organizations to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

  • Financial Assistance awardsare made in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits, and credit union shares, which CDFIs are required to match dollar-for-dollar with non-federal funds.  This requirement enables CDFIs to multiply the impact of federal investment to meet the demand for affordable financial products in economically distressed communities.
  • Technical Assistance grants are offered to CDFIs and Certifiable CDFIs (see eligibility below) to build their organizational capacity.

To be eligible to apply for a Financial Assistance award, your organization must be a Certified CDFI.

The CDFI Fund also offers supplemental awards through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. CDFIs that are selected to receive a Financial Assistance award may also receive a Healthy Food Financing Initiative award to expand their healthy food financing activities.

For more detailed information, please refer to the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), CDFI-2020-FATA , and visit the CDFI Certification Application Process page.

Treasury also released its NOFA for assistance to Native CDFIs through the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program).

  • NACA Financial Assistance awards are made to Native CDFIs. These competitive awards are made in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits, and credit union shares. See the NACA NOFA for more info here: CDFI-2020-NACA



CLOSING SOON:  ARC’s POWER 2020 Letters of Interest Due Feb 28.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is accepting applications in response to its POWER 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP). POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) is a congressionally funded initiative that makes federal resources available to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing Strong POWER projects are regional, strategic, and transformational in their approach to the economic revitalization of coal-impacted communities.

Applications are accepted via the POWER 2020 Application Portal. Application guidance and requirements are outlined in the POWER 2020 RFP.

Important Dates

  • February 28, 2020: Letter of Intent Submission deadline (Submit to [email protected])
  • March 27, 2020: Final Applications deadline (Submit to POWER Portal)

Additional guidance on application submission is available at



Apply by Mar 2. BIA Tribal Resilience Program

The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides federal-wide resources to tribes to build capacity and resilience through leadership engagement, delivery of data and tools, training and tribal capacity building. Submission Deadline: March 2, 2020

Apply by Mar 26 – NOAA Environmental Resilience Education Programs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a funding opportunity to build environmental literacy of K-12 students and the public so they become knowledgeable of the ways to increase community resilience to extreme weather and/or other environmental hazards. See Opportunity Number: NOAA-SEC-OED-2020-2006190  for details.

NIST Funding Available for MEP Disaster Assessment Program

NIST invites applications from current recipients of Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center cooperative agreements (MEP Centers) to perform assessments of small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in areas subject to a FEMA Disaster Declaration under the NIST MEP Disaster Assessment Program. These assessments should be designed to identify the impact, if any, to the operations of the SMMs as result of the subject disaster. NIST will accept applications from MEP Centers on a rolling basis based on the date of the subject FEMA Disaster Declaration. See NOFO (2020-NIST-MEP-MDAP-01) for full details.



Posting Soon:  DOT Announces FY20 Port Infrastructure Development Grants

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) (Pub. L. No. 116-92, December 20, 2019) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (the Act) (Pub. L. No. 116-94, December 20, 2019) authorized and appropriated $225 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) to make grants to improve facilities within, connecting to, out of, or around coastal seaports, inland river ports and Great Lakes ports.  The Act directs that at least $200 million of the appropriated funds be for grants to coastal seaports or Great Lakes ports.  Funds for the PIDP are to be awarded as discretionary grants on a competitive basis for projects that will improve the safety, efficiency or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around or within a port.

As required by the Act, Department of Transportation staff are working to finalize the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for this year’s program.  The NOFO will formally announce the availability of funding for PIDP grants and establish selection criteria and application requirements.  DOT anticipates that the NOFO will be released the week of February 16, 2020. For more info click here.

NEW: UDSA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant/Loan Programs. Apply by April 10.

The Department of Agriculture has announced the opening of the application window for the new cycle of Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants and loans. Approximately $71.7 million is available for funding opportunities under this FOA. Of that total, $12 million may only be used for telemedicine and distance learning projects to help address the opioid epidemic in rural America. An additional $9.4 million is intended for telemedicine projects that provide substance use disorder treatment services in rural areas. The remaining $50.3 million is available for all eligible projects.  Applications are due by April 10.

NEW: EPA Announces $2.7B for Water Infrastructure State RLFs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of $2.7 billion for State Revolving Funds. EPA provides funding to all 50 states and Puerto Rico to capitalize SRF loan programs. The states and Puerto Rico contribute an additional 20 percent to match the federal grants. The 51 SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients.

  • Approximately $1.6 B will be available for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). This funding is available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, including modernizing aging wastewater infrastructure, implementing water reuse and recycling and addressing stormwater.
  • Approximately $1.07 billion will be available for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). This funding can be used for loans that help drinking water systems install treatment for contaminants, improve distribution systems by removing lead service lines and improve system resiliency to natural disasters such as floods. Background

CWSRF and DWSRF assistance is provided directly from state agencies. Visit these EPA webpages to find the relevant state contact: and

Related Resource – EPA WIFIA Loans.

These state RLF funds can also be combined with EPA’s Water Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Act (WIFIA) loans to create a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects. Learn more about EPA’s WIFIA loan program here:, or attend one of their upcoming webinars:

NOW OPEN: USDA RD ReConnect Broadband Funding Available. Apply by March 16.

USDA is now accepting applications for the second round of ReConnect Program loan and grant funding. Funds available include up to $200 million for grants, up to $200 million for loan and grant combinations, and up to $200 million for low-interest loans. These funds will enable the federal government to continue to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Applications for all funding products will be accepted in the same application window, which will close no later than March 16, 2020.  To learn more about eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit

  • Applicant Workshops & TA: USDA is hosting technical assistance and training webinars across the country. For dates, click here.



Due Feb 25 – Concept Papers for DOE’s $64M H2@Scale Initiative

U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $64 million in funding to advance innovations that will build new markets for the H2@Scale initiative. This investment will support transformational research and development (R&D), innovative hydrogen concepts that will encourage market expansion and increase the scale of hydrogen production, storage, transport, and use. Opportunities also exist in large-energy use applications for mobility, such as trucks, rail and marine, as well as in energy storage. Funding can support R&D in a range of areas from development of advanced materials and energy manufacturing processes, developing new markets for hydrogen based steel products, maritime, and data centers uses, and training and workforce strategies to develop the skills necessary to support the growing hydrogen and fuel cell industry.

Concept papers are due February 25, 2020 and full applications are due April 20, 2020. More information, application requirements, and instructions can be found on the EERE Exchange. Visit DOE’s webpage to learn more.


NEW: NSF SBIR and STTR Phase II Funding Available – Industrial Innovation. Next Submission Deadline is Mar 5

NSF’s Directorate for Engineering, Industrial Innovation and Partnerships has issued Program Solicitations for STTR and SBIR Phase II awards, with the next submission window of February 14 – March 5, 2020. Additional Submission Windows will close on June 4, Sept 3, and Dec 3, 2020.

A small business may apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award only if it has been received a NSF Phase I award, and only for continued research toward commercialization of the technology developed under the Phase I award. The Phase II funding amount has increased to a maximum of $1,000,000 to better support the nation’s startups and small businesses, as part of the recent federal adjustment for inflation.

For more information view the full Program Solicitations here:



Apply by Mar 4 -Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program

On December 30, DOE issued its Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002144 , for the 2020/2021 Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). Through this program, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration awards grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to prepare NNSA’s next-generation technical workforce. The program’s primary mission is to create and foster a sustainable STEM-pipeline that prepares a diverse workforce of world class talent through strategic partnerships between Minority Serving Institutions and the DOE/NNSA Enterprise. To execute this mission, MSIPP builds a network of NSE ready students through enrichment activities from K-20 to post-doctoral level. Through university-lab consortia partnerships students are exposed to cutting-edge research and activities in their relevant fields. Submission deadline for Applications is March 4, 2020.


Open Federal Funding Opportunities:  

Below is a list of previously highlighted funding opportunities that are still open. Enter the Opportunity Number in to see announcement details. You can also search for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.

Opportunity Number Opportunity Title Agency   Posted Date Close Date


FY 2020 EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs DOC-EDA   10/18/2019 Open
EDA-2019-DISASTER FY 2019 EDA Disaster Supplemental DOC-EDA   08/13/2019 Open
FR-6400-N-54 HUD’s FY2020 and FY2021 Distressed Cities TA Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) HUD   11/26/2019 Open
2020-NIST-MEP-MDAP-01 NIST MEP Disaster Assessment Program DOC-NIST   01/17/2020 Open
DE-FOA-0002144 Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program DOE-NNSA   12/30/2019 03/04/2020
EDA-HDQ-OIE-2020-2006301 Accelerate R2 Network Challenge – FINAL DOC   10/18/2019 03/11/2020
CDFI-2020-FATA Fiscal Year 2020 CDFI Program USDOT-CDFI   02/20/2020 03/23/2020


Fiscal Year 2020 NACA Program USDOT-CDFI   02/20/2020 03/23/2020
EDA-HDQ-OIE-2020 2020 Build to Scale Program – Concept Proposal DOC   02/18/2020 03/24/2020
NOAA-SEC-OED-2020-2006190 Environmental Literacy Grants: Supporting the education of K-12 students and the public for community resilience DOC   10/15/2019 03/26/2020
CRNR-2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Program DOI   10/16/2019 04/01/2020
TAP-2020 Technical Assistance Program DOI   10/04/2019 04/01/2020
OIT-STEP-2020-01 State Trade Expansion Program SBA   02/06/2020 04/07/2020
RUS-20-01-DLT Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants USDA-RUS   02/10/2020 04/10/2020
DE-FOA-0002229 Fiscal Year 2020 H2@Scale New Markets FOA DOE-GFO   01/23/2020 04/20/2020
2020-NIST-SBIR-01 NIST Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I DOC-NIST   02/18/2020 04/22/2020
DTOS59-20-RA-BUILD FY 2020 National Infrastructure Investments DOT   02/18/2020 05/18/2020
USDA-NIFA-SBIR-007194 FY 2020 FY2021 SBIR Phase II RFA USDA-NIFA   02/07/2020 05/27/2020

Recent Federal Awards of Note:

ARC Coal Community Investments in NY, PA, AL:

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently announced nearly $3.3 million in POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) investments to continue supporting economic diversification in the Region’s coal-impacted communities. The projects announced on February 12 specifically focus on improving broadband infrastructure in New York, strengthening responses to the substance abuse crisis in Pennsylvania, and supporting Opportunity Zone investments in Alabama. Read more here.

DOE Announced $187M to Support Advanced Manufacturing R&D

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $187 million in funding, including $48 million of cost share, for 55 projects in 25 states to support innovative advanced manufacturing research and development. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will provide funding for projects in the following three topic areas:

  • Innovations for the Manufacture of Advanced Materials: $124.6 million for 36 projects focused on new, low-cost manufacturing processes to catalyze domestic battery manufacturing, phase-change storage materials for heating and cooling applications, and the development of innovative materials for harsh service conditions.
  • Lower Thermal Budget Processes for Industrial Efficiency & Productivity: $28.7 million for 8 projects to conduct novel research on industrial process heating and drying technologies to increase energy efficiency and product quality. These projects are related to process heating which accounts for 70% of all manufacturing process energy use.
  • Connected, Flexible and Efficient Manufacturing Facilities and Energy Systems:$33.5 million for 11 projects that support more efficient industrial power conversion equipment, new opportunities for converting process energy to electrical energy while better integrating with the electrical grid, and projects that build upon recent advances in new, wide-bandgap semiconductors supported by DOE. A number of projects will also support advancements in combined heat and power, energy-efficient technologies for simultaneous onsite production of electricity and heat, as well as address technical challenges in district energy systems.

Read more about the individual projects HERE.


Public Meetings, Events and Training

NEW:  NADO Hosts Webinars on Data Tools for Economic Development Planning

The NADO Research Foundation’s Data Deep Dive webinar series will feature three organizations and their data tools and maps that can be easily accessed to collect, interpret, and share data to better prepare your CEDS and other regional plans.  Each free webinar will feature a live demonstration of the tools and time for Q & A.

Please register for each webinar separately:

All webinars are scheduled for 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern and will be recorded and posted online.

This webinar series is presented as part of the NADO Research Foundation’s Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions program, funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  Please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected] with any questions or for more information.

NEW: USDA Webinars on Distance Learning & Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program- Fiscal Year 2020

On February 27th and March 3rd, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host webinars focused on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. These webinars will inform participants about the major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program and will provide detailed guidance on how to submit a successful grant application.  There will also be time for participants to ask specific questions about putting together an application.

Please register by visiting the following web pages:

More information about the DLT Grant Program is available here.

APLU’s Learning Exchange Forum: Rural Engagement for Resilient Communities

The American Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) is excited to provide a new monthly forum for those who are working in and/or are interested in supporting rural communities. Members of the forum will exchange best practices, engage philanthropic, private sector, and government funders, and more. Topics include:

  • MAY- Rural Opportunity Zones
  • JUNE- No Meeting. Join the CECE-CoR Joint Summer Meeting in State College, PA.
  • JULY- Infrastructure Development
  • AUGUST- Rural Workforce Development
  • SEPTEMBER- General Rural Economic and Demographic Trends
  • OCTOBER- Value Added Food Manufacturing

Learn more about the Learning Exchange Forum: Rural Engagement for Resilient Communities today!


Reports, Research and Tools

NEW: EDA Published Final Rule Updating TAAF and PWEDA Regulations

On February 14,  Economic Development Administration published a final rule to update the agency’s regulations implementing the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended and the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (PWEDA).  The changes to the TAAF program regulations clarify the process for import-impacted U.S. manufacturing firms, oil and natural gas production firms, and service firms to obtain technical assistance–identified in the Trade Act as “adjustment assistance”–through the TAAF program, reorganize the regulations to make them easier to read and understand, incorporate best practices, and bring the regulations into closer alignment with the program’s statutory requirements.  The result will be to ease the burden on firms seeking adjustment assistance through the TAAF program and make it easier for Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAACs) to work with firms. EDA is also eliminating certain TAAF and PWEDA regulations that are unnecessary or duplicative because they describe requirements already established in other regulations or award documentation. This final rule is effective on March 16, 2020.


NEW: Opportunities for STEAM Education through Perkins V and ESSA

The Education Commission of the States has released a one-page overview of ways in which states and districts can use Perkins V and ESSA funds to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) education.

NIST MEP Client Survey Highlights Trends, Challenges for US Manufacturing

Credit: iStock/B4LLS

What challenges do U.S. manufacturers anticipate facing in the beginning of the new decade? And how does that differ from the past? A recent  NIST MEP Manufacturing Innovation Blog post  offered highlights from its most recent annual survey of MEP Centers’ manufacturing clients. The article notes the following:

  • The most significant changes to client responses focus on the issue of employee recruitment and retention. Over the past decade, the share of MEP Center clients reporting this as a challenge has more than doubled and is now the second most frequently reported challenge companies are facing.
  • Ongoing continuous improvement and cost reduction issues remain the most frequently cited challenge by MEP Center clients through a decade
  • Technology needs as well as managing partners and suppliers are two challenges that are now more frequently cited at the end of the decade compared with the beginning. These shifts seem to reflect the increased pace of technological change and a greater need for supply chain management
  • Innovation/product development is one of the more consistent challenges for MEP Center client
  • Exporting remains the least cited challenge.

Read the full blog post here:

Urban Institute Report Highlights Modern Apprenticeships

In case you missed it, in November 2019, The Urban Institute released a notable collection of new research and case studies in its report: Skilling Up – The Scope of Modern Apprenticeship

The collected chapters and vignettes from numerous state and local programs address questions for businesses of all sizes, community-based organizations, and schools looking for a way to build strong pipelines of skilled labor, stimulate economies in struggling regions, provide options for adults seeking career changes, and stimulate engagement for students filled with curiosity about the promise of work-based learning.


Disaster Recovery Resources & Info

Where to Find Federal Disaster Declarations

  • You can find the latest federal emergency and disaster declarations, as well as prior declarations for other areas, on FEMA’s disaster declarations webpage.
  • Amended Declarations: Existing Declarations may be subsequently amended to expand covered areas, provide notification that an incident has been closed, or make other necessary changes. The link is available here.

Funding and other Assistance Available for Economic Recovery:

EDA Disaster Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2018/19 Disasters

EDA’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), made available $587 million for eligible grantees in communities impacted by Presidentially declared natural disasters in 2018, and by floods and tornadoes in 2019. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. View Opportunity Number EDA-2019-DISASTER on,  and contact your EDA Regional Office representative for eligibility information and application assistance.

EPA Toolkit Features Resources to Prepare for Natural Disasters

The U.S. EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership has released a new toolkit, How to Prepare for Natural Disasters: A Pre-Disaster Toolkit for Small to Medium-Sized Communities. Click here to access the toolkit.

HUD TA for Disaster Recovery in Distressed Cities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accepting requests for Technical Assistance (TA) under the new Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) Program.  Note that HUD strongly encourages interested jurisdictions to contact your HUD Field Office prior to submitting a request for TA.

HUD Mitigation Funds Available through CDBG-MIT Program.

In August, HUD announced $16B in CDBG-MIT funds for eligible jurisdictions and states, impacted by major disasters in 2015-2017. CDBG-MIT funds are to be used for different purposes than HUD’s traditional disaster funding, or CDBG-DR funds.  It focuses on current and future risks, including actions communities can take to protect themselves from the predictable damage from future events.  To learn more, view this recent HUD webinar on the CDBG-MIT program.

USDA Rural Housing Announced Availability of 2019 Disaster Relief Act Funds

USDA Rural Housing Service’s Community Facilities Program (CF) has supplemental grant funding available for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Michael and Florence and wildfires occurring in calendar year 2018, tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, and other natural disasters. Submit applications through USDA State Office contacts, available here.


Economic Recovery Support & the National Disaster Response Framework