Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of March 2, 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 https://www.eda.gov/edi/assistance/

Also visit the following links on our updated EDI webpages at www.eda.gov/edi 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


Contents


Funding & Resource Announcements

CEDS and Regional Planning

NEW:  USDA’s SECD Prioritizes Rural Projects Supported by Regional Plans

On Feb. 28, 2020 USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced that USDA is providing funds to rural projects that support regional economic and community development planning. This Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) funding is authorized through a Farm Bill provision for applications submitted through the following programs:

  • 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

Generally, Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) authority allows USDA to give priority points to applicants of these rural development programs, who demonstrate how the proposed projects advance implementation of their regional plans, such as a CEDS.  To apply for the funding, applicants must meet underlying program requirements and submit the Form RD 1980-88 to the nearest USDA office. Program funds available under SECD expire on June 30, 2020.

More details on how this SECD prioritization works and can be viewed at page 11947 of the Feb. 28, 2020, Federal Register: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-02-28/pdf/2020-04031.pdf

  • WEBINAR Mar 12: Interested parties can learn more about this opportunity during a webinar on Thursday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Register for the webinar here.

 

 

CAPITAL ACCESS and ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

Due Mar 24:  EDA’s Build to Scale Program for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Support.

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

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

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: https://www.transit.dot.gov/HOPE

 

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. 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 www.usda.gov/reconnect

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 grants.gov | 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 Grants.gov visit DOT’s webpage at https://www.maritime.dot.gov/PIDPgrants

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: https://www.epa.gov/dwsrf and https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf.

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

 

INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY:

COMING SOON: DOE to Release Funding Opportunity Announcement for Phase II Small Business Projects

In early March, DOE will release a Phase II funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. 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. Visit the DOE-wide SBIR-STTR page for more information.

 

Submit by Mar 5 – NSF SBIR and STTR Phase II Funding Available – Industrial Innovation.

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.

For more information view the full Program Solicitations here:

 

OPPORTUNITY ZONES

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: https://www.eda.gov/files/ceds/CEDS-Content-Guidelines-full.pdf
  • 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: https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/.

 

Final Regulations on Opportunity Zones Final rules issued by US Treasury and IRS in December 2019 are available at irs.gov. 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 Grants.gov to see announcement details. You can also search Grants.gov for a full list of current federal opportunities, including programs not listed below.

Opportunity Number Opportunity Title Agency   Posted Date Close Date
PWEAA2020

 

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
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
CDFI-2020-NACA

 

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

Mar 5 @ 2pm ET NADO Webinars on Data Tools for Economic Development Planning

The NADO Research Foundation’s Data Deep Dive webinar series features data tools and maps that can be easily accessed to collect, interpret, and share data to better prepare CEDS and other regional plans.  Next webinar features StatsAmerica tools:

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

Find previous recorded webinars at NADO Research Foundation’s Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions webpage. Please contact Brett Schwartz at bschwartz@nado.org with any questions or for more information.

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: https://www.epa.gov/wifia.

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

 

By August 25: Submit Input on NIST’s Process to Recognize 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 (first one on March 12).  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:

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 Grants.gov,  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 grants.gov | 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.