Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of March 16, 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

CEDS and Regional Planning

NEW: DRA Invites Applications for 2020 States’ Economic Development Assistance Program

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is opening the 2020 application cycle for the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP).  SEDAP, which provides direct investments into community-based and regional projects that address the DRA’s congressionally mandated four funding priorities, is the main investment tool used by the DRA.  All necessary information for application consideration can be found in the 2020 SEDAP Manual. Organizations and communities can apply online at

The deadline to submit applications is May 31, 2020, and funds are available to DRA’s footprint of 252 counties and parishes in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.


March 30 / June 30 Deadline:  Apply for Priority Consideration through USDA’s Strategic Economic and Community Development Program.

Through the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) authority in the 2018 Farm Bill, USDA has set aside a portion of funding in four programs, for rural projects that support regional economic and community development planning, such as CEDS. The four programs are:

  • Community Facilities Loans, Grants and Loan Guarantees
  • Water and Waste Disposal Program Loans, Grants and Loan Guarantees
  • Business & Industry Program Loan Guarantees
  • Rural Business Development Grants

To apply for the funding, applicants must meet underlying program requirements and submit Application Form (Form RD 1980-88) along with other application materials to the nearest USDA office. Consideration for regional development priority will be based on:

  • How well the project supports a multi-jurisdictional plan, and
  • How well the plan addresses collaboration and investments from other federal and philanthropic agencies.

Program funds available under SECD expire on current application deadline for each program or June 30, 2020, whichever comes first. For Rural Business Development Grants, e.g. the earlier deadline for that program of March 30, 2020 applies.

For more information on how this SECD prioritization works, please contact your local USDA Rural Development office or Gregory Batson at [email protected]. More details can also viewed at page 11947 of the Feb. 28, 2020, Federal Register:




NEW:  SBA To Provide Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

SBA issued a press release on March 12, 2020 , outlining additional loan assistance it can make available to support businesses disrupted by Coronavirus. The process begins with a request from a state’s or territory’s Governor to SBA, for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, that can in turn, be used by SBA to make loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Visit SBA webpage for additional guidance for businesses regarding COVID-19,  including these excerpts regarding the Economic Injury Loans:


  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail [email protected].


DEADLINE APPROACHING:  EDA Accepting Concept Proposals for its Build to Scale Program Through March 24.

EDA has redesigned its Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. With a 40 percent budget increase and recent reauthorization, the new program is called Build to Scale (B2S), which builds regional economies through scalable startups. EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) leads the Build to Scale Program. Concept proposals, due March 24,  are the first step in the streamlined application process.

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

View the recorded informational webinar  and visit the Build to Scale Web page for more information.


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



EXTENDED: USDA Extends ReConnect Application Deadline to March 31

USDA has extended the deadline (PDF, 245 KB) for ReConnect Pilot Program applications to March 31.

These grants, loans and combination funds enable the federal government to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload.The application window for this round of funding opened on Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for all funding products will be accepted in the same application window, which will now close on March 31, 2020.

A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding is available on page 67913 of the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal Register (PDF, 336 KB). To learn more about eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit


NEW: FTA HOPE Program Funds Transit for Areas of Persistent Poverty. Apply by May 4

On March 3, 2020, FTA announced the availability of $8.5 million in Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) Program funds to improve transit services or facilities in areas of persistent poverty through funding for planning, engineering, technical studies, or financial plans. The HOPE Program supports projects that will improve transit services or facilities in areas of persistent poverty through planning, engineering, or development of technical, or financing plans for projects.

Applicants are encouraged to work with non-profits or other entities of their choosing to develop an eligible project. Project applications are due by 11:59 p.m. May 4, 2020. See FTA’s webpage for more information at:


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

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. Applications are due by April 10.


Apply by April 30: Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant

USDA Rural Development is accepting Fiscal Year 2020 applications for grants to help rural communities expand their capacity to access financial resources for economic development. Electronic Application Deadline: April 30, 2020 via | Paper Application Deadline: May 5, 2020

Apply by May 18:  DOT FY20 Port Infrastructure Development Grants

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 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. Minimum award size is $1M.  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.  For more information, view the Notice on visit DOT’s webpage at

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. The SRF programs function like infrastructure banks by providing low-interest loans to eligible recipients. Assistance is provided directly from state agencies. Visit these EPA webpages to find the relevant state contact: and

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



NEW: NSF Research Grants for Future Manufacturing (FM)

PROGRAM SOLICITATION  NSF 20-552.  The goal of NSF’s Future Manufacturing program is to support fundamental research that will enable manufacturing approaches that are either entirely new or that can be done today but not at a sufficient scale to make them economically viable. Future Manufacturing will require the design and deployment of diverse new technologies for synthesis and sensing, and new algorithms for manufacturing new materials, chemicals, devices, components and systems. It will require new advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, new cyber infrastructure, new approaches for mathematical and computational modeling, new dynamics and control methodologies, new ways to integrate systems biology, synthetic biology and bioprocessing, and new ways to influence the economy, workforce, human behavior, and society. Proposals should provide examples of how the research results could lead to transformational manufacturing advances that address significant problems. They should provide a vision statement describing the new manufacturing capabilities that could be enabled by the proposed research, and the potential industrial and societal benefits. They should also describe the implications of the proposed activities on the education of the skilled technical workforce.

Three thrust areas have been identified for support in FY 2020 under this solicitation:

  • Future Cyber Manufacturing Research,
  • Future Eco Manufacturing Research, and
  • Future Biomanufacturing Research.

A one-page Letter of Intent is required for all tracks. The letter should be submitted via FastLane no later than April 10. Full information is available at:

LOI Due April 1: DOE Invites Applications for SBIR Phase II Small Business Projects

On March 10, DOE released its a Phase II funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs (DE-FOA-0002156). Topic descriptions for this FOA can be found on the DOE SBIR/STTR web site at

Phase II projects are expanded R&D efforts with awards of up to $1,100,000 over two years. Applicants must have received a Phase I or Phase II award to apply. Letters of Interest are Due April 1, with full applications due on April 21 for this window. Visit the DOE-wide SBIR-STTR page for more information.



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 these additional tools and resources for OZs:

  • View EDA investments in projects located in and around Opportunity Zones here.

Compilation of Federal Actions and Resources supporting OZs.

Available on HUD’s Opportunity Now, Opportunity Zones at:

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


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
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
FTA-2020-011-TPE-HOPE FY 2020 Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone Program DOT-FTA   03/03/2020 05/04/2020
DTOS59-20-RA-BUILD FY 2020 National Infrastructure Investments DOT   02/18/2020 05/18/2020
693JF7-20-BAA-0001 Port Infrastructure Development Grants DOT-MA   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


Public Meetings, Events and Training

March 17 @ 2pm ET  DOL Webinar: Unemployment Compensation (UC) for Individuals Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:00 PM ~ 3:30 PM ET / Registration Webpage

To discuss recently-provided guidance (UIPL 10-20) for states regarding unemployment compensation (UC) flexibilities related to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).   CDC Resource Webpage

Mar 17 Webinar: Financing Projects with EPA WIFIA Loans.

EPA’s Water Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Act (WIFIA) loans serve as a powerful, innovative financing solution for major infrastructure projects.  To learn more, attend one of these webinars or visit:

Mar. 18 @2pm ET – Broadband USA Webinar – ABI 1 Year Update.

Topic: American Broadband Initiative – 1 year update Time: 2:00 PM Eastern

In 2019, the Trump Administration launched the American Broadband Initiative (ABI) with the release of the Milestones Report.  Please join BroadbandUSA on March 18, 2020 at 2pm ET to hear from key agencies that participate in the ABI who will highlight the commitments and accomplishments of this effort.  NTIA will provide an update on work to build the National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM), and USDA’s Chad Rupe, Rural Utilities Service Administrator, will discuss the ReConnect program and some of the agency’s regulatory changes that affect broadband permitting. Finally, the U.S. Department of the Interior will cover important changes to broadband permitting policies. Visit our Webinar Archives for past presentations, transcripts and audio recordings.


March 24, Noon (ET) – Abt Resilience Webinar Features DOE, Tribal Partners

Helping Communities and Countries Move from Crisis to Stability

Resilience. It’s a pressing topic, but the term is frequently confused with related—yet distinct—concepts of risk reduction or adaptation. Join Abt for a free webinar to learn what resilience really means, how it is relevant to diverse stakeholders, and how to strengthen resilience at local, regional, and national scales. Speakers will describe how communities and nations experience and recover from impacts to their environment and climate, energy systems, health, and cultures, and how to develop effective resilience-building strategies.  Click here to: Register


March 25, 11 AM (MT) – Department of Energy Tribal energy webinars

Energy Efficiency Projects from Concept to Completion

Once your Tribe has identified energy efficiency as a goal and considered the opportunities, the next state consists of defining and executing the project. This webinar will focus on how to move a project from concept to completion. Click here to Register


April 7: USDA Webinar: Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI)

Join USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time to learn how to apply for Rural Community Development Initiative Program grants. These grants are for qualified intermediaries to provide capacity building assistance to help improve housing and community facilities, and to implement community and economic development projects in rural areas.

Participants will learn about program requirements, scoring criteria and application deadlines. Register today!

Webinar April 16, Comment By August 25: NIST Considers Alliance Pathway for Manufacturing Centers

The Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office at NIST, which coordinates with other federal agencies on Manufacturing USA, has issued a Request for Information (RFI).   The RFI seeks comments from the public on an “alliance pathway” where manufacturing centers outside of Manufacturing USA could be recognized by the Secretary of Commerce as centers for manufacturing innovation. In particular, the office requests feedback on risks, the proposed application process for alliance members, and responses to questions including: eligibility and evaluation criteria, funding opportunities for alliance members, and requirements for the alliance members.

Please see the RFI for additional details and submit your input here.  In addition, please consider attending an upcoming webinar (next one on April 16).  Stakeholder roundtable sessions will also be held across the country through June.  Read more here.  Comment period closes August 25, 2020.


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!


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:

COVID-19 Announcements:

The situation is rapidly changing, and new announcements are being issued frequently.  Some of the following may be of particular interest to economic development stakeholders:

 Coronavirus Disease 2019 National Emergency Declaration

President Trump has declared a nationwide emergency for COVID-19.  This declaration increases federal support to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in its role as the lead federal agency for the federal government’s response. 

Visit this webpage for a list of declarations by State:


NEW: CDC Guidance for Individuals, Businesses and Community Organizations:

For more information on coronavirus, please visit: current information and guidance regarding COVID-19, including guidance for Businesses and Employers, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19  webpage at:

Resources on this site include:

NEW: SBA Guidance for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

NEW: DOL Resources to help workers and employers prepare for COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus). Including:


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.

Apply by April 30: USDA Community Facilities TA and Training Grants for Disaster Recovery

USDA is making $7.5 million in grants available through the Community Facilities TA and Training Grants: Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act.  These funds can help rural communities continue their recovery from the devastating effects of hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters. Electronic Application Deadline: April 30, 2020 via | Paper Application Deadline: May 5, 2020

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. 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.

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

  • Read more about the Economic Recovery Support Function (ERSF) and the National Disaster Response Framework here.