Selected Federal Agency Announcements and Related for the Week of March 30, 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

DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program Funding Available

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 funding.dra.gov.

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.

 

April /June Deadlines:  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 apply by the due date for the specific program or June 30, whichever is FIRST. Applicants also must meet all other underlying program requirements and submit Application Form (Form RD 1980-88) along with other application materials to their 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.

For more information on how this SECD prioritization works, please contact your local USDA Rural Development office or Gregory Batson at Gregory.Batson@usda.gov. More details can also 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

 

NEW: ARC Extends POWER and Entrepreneurship Academy Deadlines

ARC is assisting current grantees and applicants who are unable to meet project goals or timelines due to the current situation. Current grantees are encouraged to email their ARC project coordinator.  If you are a current ARC grantee experiencing such challenges, please email your ARC project coordinator and state program managers, who may be working remotely. I

In addition, ARC has  made the following adjustments to the programs listed below:

  • Extended the application deadline for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academyto March 31, 2020. Should this program, or the ARC/ORNL Summer STEM program, need to be modified further, an announcement will be made in mid-April.
  • Extended the deadline for POWERapplications to April 24, 5 pm ET. Additional revisions can also be made to applications already submitted to arc.gov during this thirty day extension.
  • Convening the Appalachian Leadership Institutevirtually through online learning modules in lieu of the upcoming field seminars scheduled for Beckley, West Virginia and Boone, North Carolina.
  • Postponed Envision Appalachia: Community Conversationsfor ARC’s New Strategic Plan. Our intent is to restart our strategic planning process at a time when we can gather in-person to discuss our Region’s future.
  • Posting any additional ARC operational updates on arc.gov, and in forthcoming issues of In The Region.

BUSINESS ASSISTANCE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

NEW:  MBDA Seeking to Fund Business Centers with Focus on Minority Women Entrepreneurs. Apply by May 30.

The Minority Business Development Agency within the Department of Commerce has announced a funding opportunity that seeks to fund Business Center(s) with a particular focus on supporting minority women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and its territories to build their businesses, secure contracts and capital, and increase employment opportunities.

MBDA anticipates making three awards, each for $500,000 per year, for a total of $1.5M per year ($3M total).  Applications are due May 30.  See MBDA Notice of Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov for more information here.

 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Businesses and Nonprofits

SBA has been authorized to provide additional loan assistance to support economies 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants are encouraged to apply online: https://disasterloan.sba.gov. 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • For More Resources and Info: SBA has established a webpage providing guidance and loan resource information for the business community.

 

Deadline Extended to April 15: USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program.

USDA extended the application deadline for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program to no later than April 15, 2020. Contact the Rural Development Office for the deadline in your state. USDA announced the extension in an Unnumbered Letter posted March 19, 2020.

USDA has also provide flexibilities in its other Rural Development and Cooperative Services programs. Read the full announcement

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Updated: HUD Section 108 Financing – CDBG Entitlement and State Grantees

Visit HUD’s webpage for a recently updated (March 2020) listing that provides information on existing borrowing capacity for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Communities and States looking to apply for Section 108 guaranteed loans. (Non-entitlement communities can apply with their State’s support.)

Section 108 offers state and local governments the ability to access low-cost, long-term federally guaranteed financing for housing, economic development, and infrastructure projects or loan funds. These borrowing capacity calculations are based on the FY 2020 CDBG grant awards as well as grantees’ outstanding Section 108 guaranteed loans and commitments as of February 2020.

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 4: Transportation – HOPE Program Funds for Areas of Persistent Poverty.

DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced availability of 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

 

Apply by May 18:  Port Infrastructure Development Program 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

RLFs for Water Infrastructure

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has made $2.7 billion available for State Revolving Funds that support water infrastructure. 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 for a contact in your state: https://www.epa.gov/dwsrf and https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf.

 

Register for Updates: DOD Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP)

DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment recently circulated an advisory for communities with nearby military bases:   All potential applicants interested in receiving funding for off-base community infrastructure projects that support mission readiness and resilience, also known as the Defense Community Infrastructure program (DCIP), should do two things:

  1. Sign up on the OEA website to receive DCIP notification as they become available.
  2. Ensure your entity is registered on Grants.gov to learn about the application process and be on the lookout for information related to the federal funding opportunity (FFO). All formal announcements as well as application opportunities will be posted on www.grants.gov.

 

MANUFACTURING, INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY:

NEW: NIST Manufacturing USA National Emergency Assistance Program

On March 30, 2020 NIST announced Funding Opportunity: 2020-NIST-MFGUSA-NEAP-01,

inviting applications from current Manufacturing USA institutes not receiving financial assistance under Section 1741(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 ((Pub. L. 116-92, December 20, 2019), to be codified at 15 U.S.C. § 278s(e)) at the time of proposal submission.

Projects should focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects may include medical countermeasures; non-medical countermeasures; leveraging institute capabilities to strengthen state and community resilience; grants to companies and technical support to accelerate productions of critical materials, equipment, and supplies; creation of additional production facilities; technology roadmapping for pandemic response and recovery; reshoring the manufacture of critical conventional drugs and ensuring supply chain for critical materials related to pandemic response; or workforce development and training for a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce.

See NOFO on Grants.gov for complete information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=325811

 

LOI Due April 10 – 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: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20552

 

RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY

Apply by Apr 8: 2020 National Coastal Resilience Fund

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will make approximately $31M in awards to restore and strengthen natural systems so they can protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms, floods, and other natural hazards and enable them to recover more quickly, and enhance habitats for fish and wildlife.  This program is funded by, and coordinated with, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shell Oil Company, and TransRe and will include input from other federal agencies and outside experts.

Projects must be located within the coastal areas of U.S. coastal states, including the Great Lakes states, and U.S. territories, and should address the following focus areas:

  • Community Capacity Building and Planning (New Category for 2020)
  • Project Site Assessment and Preliminary Design
  • Project Final Design and Permitting
  • Restoration and Monitoring

NFWF seeks to advance projects that include adaptation to projected future environmental conditions, so that these individual projects are resilient into the future. In addition, evaluation criteria include, among other elements:

  • Strong partnerships with Federal, state, and local agencies, as well as communities and/or non-profit organizations” and that the
  • Prioritization in Existing Plans at the state, regional, or local level for addressing coastal resilience and demonstrates activities that support habitat, fish and wildlife restoration, and community resilience goals of NFWF and NOAA.

More info on eligibility and other requirements are here.

 

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
 

2020-NIST-MFGUSA-NEAP-01

 

NIST Manufacturing USA National Emergency Assistance Program DOC-NIST   03/30/2020 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
ETA-TEGL-12-19 National Dislocated Worker Grants Program Guidance DOL-ETA   03/19/2020  
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
2020-NIST-SBIR-02 The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase II DOC-NIST   03/27/2020 05/26/2020
USDA-NIFA-SBIR-007194 FY 2020 FY2021 SBIR Phase II RFA USDA-NIFA   02/07/2020 05/27/2020
MBDA-OBD-2020-2006443 Enterprising Women of Color DOC   03/29/2020 05/30/2020
HHS-2020-ACL-NIDILRR-BISB-0400 Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Phase II HHS-ACL   03/27/2020 06/10/2020

 

Public Meetings, Events and Training

April 3 @11am ET   DOC Webinar: Initiatives to Support US Textile Manufacturers

Join this webinar presented by the Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Services to hear speakers from the US Commercial Services, SBA and the National Association of Textile Organizations coalition discuss their initiatives to counter COVID-19.

Under the National Council of Textile Organization’ (NCTO) coalition of American apparel brands and textile companies are joining forces to manufacture medical face masks and other supplies to help hospitals, health care workers, and citizens battling COVID-19.   Learn about the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan for organizations financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

April 3, 2020, 11 – 12 p.m. ET

There is no cost to view the webinar, but registration is required. Register here.  

 

April 7 @2pm ET: 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!

 

April 8 @2pm ET.  Applicant Webinar for FTA’s Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) Program.

Join FTA program staff on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. ET,  to learn more about this competitive funding opportunity, including application eligibility, evaluation criteria, and the application submission process. Register for Webinar HERE

The HOPE program seeks to fund projects that support improvements to public transportation in areas of persistent poverty to help lift communities out of poverty and ensure that transportation connects people to jobs, schools, and healthcare facilities. In addition, the program is intended to help reduce barriers for people seeking substance abuse treatment and recovery services. FTA issued the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the HOPE program on March 3, 2020, and the deadline for applying is May 4, 2020.  See program page for details:  https://www.transit.dot.gov/HOPE

 

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. Link here.

Funding and other Assistance Available for Economic Recovery:

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

Resources for COVID-19 Disaster Assistance:

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:

Official Site for Federal Resources

For the latest CDC guidance for individuals, businesses and communities see: cdc.gov/COVID19

For a current compilation of other federal resources visit:  www.usa.gov/coronavirus.  The following announcements are highlighted below for your convenience:

Coronavirus Disease 2019 National Emergency Declaration

  • President Trump has declared a nationwide emergency for COVID-19.  View the Emergency declaration here..
  • FEMA is also processing Major Disaster Declarations by State/Territory, as received by each Governor. See status of those declarations here: https://www.fema.gov/disasters

 

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Learn about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides working capital loans to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.

New: USDA Measures to Help Rural Businesses and Communities

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020 – USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to our customers, partners, and stakeholders.

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 FY19 Disaster Supplemental Funding Available for Areas Impacted by 2018/19 Natural 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.

 

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.