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U.S. Department of Commerce: American Rescue Plan Act, Economic Adjustment Assistance Program

Deadline: March 15, 2022

The Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program will provide a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to, and recover from, the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, including long-term recovery and resilience to future economic disasters. EAA is flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders. The program will fund projects that support communities negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal economy, including supporting transitioning away from coal.

EAA will support both the development of pandemic recovery strategies and the implementation of recovery projects identified with those strategies. This includes construction activities such as water and sewer system improvements, industrial parks, high-tech shipping and logistics facilities, business incubators and accelerators, brownfield redevelopment, technology-based facilities, wet labs, multi-tenant manufacturing facilities, science and research parks, workforce training facilities, and telecommunications infrastructure (e.g., broadband) and development facilities. This also includes non-construction activities such as design and engineering, technical assistance, economic recovery strategy development, and capitalization of revolving loan funds (RLFs).
Highlighted areas include:

* Assistance to coal communities (implementation grant): EAA has a focus on providing assistance to coal communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy. These communities need projects and activities that:
(A) Will produce multiple economic and workforce development outcomes, such as promoting regional economic growth and diversification, new job creation, and re-employment opportunities for displaced coal economy workers; and
(B) Are specifically identified under local and regional economic development plans that have been collaboratively produced by diverse local and regional stakeholders.

* Workforce development (implementation grant): Projects to develop or support regional workforce training systems that require a construction activity. Note that entities considering projects to develop or support regional workforce training systems should submit proposals under the EDA ARPA Jobs Challenge solicitation, unless that project requires a construction activity not eligible under the Jobs Challenge.

* Strategy grants: These awards will develop, update, or refine a statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) or multi-jurisdictional CEDS that incorporates the needs of multiple Economic Development Districts. CEDS must aim to alleviate long-term economic deterioration or prepare strategies for dealing with future sudden or severe economic dislocations, including future pandemics. Depending on the needs of a state or region, applicants may be eligible for an initial strategy grant and a subsequent implementation grant.

Note: The intent of EAA is to support activities not already part of another opportunity promulgated by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to implement the American Rescue Plan Act.

Amount: $500,000,000 is available to make up to 300 awards ranging from $500,000 – $5,000,000. $200,000,000 of those funds will go to communities negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal economy. The Austin Regional EDA office (which includes New Mexico), will be allocated $63,792,927.
Period of performance: Typically, grants and non-construction implementation projects may range in duration from 12 – 24 months. Implementation grants involving construction of project facilities and infrastructure are expected to range from 12 – 48 months.

Match: Awards are expected to to fund at least 80%, and up to 100%, of project costs.

Eligibility:
* District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District
* Tribe or a consortium of tribes
* State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
* Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
* Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State

Link: https://eda.gov/arpa/economic-adjustment-assistance/

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