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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Economic Development Projects

Deadline: July 24, 2017

The Community Economic Development (CED) program provides funding for projects aimed at business development opportunities and creating employment for individuals with low incomes located in geographic areas with a demonstrated need for the proposed project. To accomplish this, the program requires that all businesses and positions created support a service area with unemployment and poverty rates that are at or above the state or national levels. The CED program also seeks to fund projects that address the personal and community barriers that must be overcome to help individuals with low incomes become self-sufficient.

The CED program is built on the premise that nonprofit Community Development Corporations (CDCs) know their communities and are poised to efficiently and effectively create new community economic development projects in their communities. The objective is to support businesses that develop new products, services, and other commercial activities that result in new positions for individuals with low-incomes. These positions should:

  • Be ready to implement at the time of award
  • Lead to increased self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low-income
  • Create businesses and jobs in low-income communities that improve the livelihood of not only those who obtain those jobs but the community itself
  • Attract additional public and private funds to increase investment and quality of life in low-income communities

CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects. The CED program permits facility construction as needed to support business creation, business expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature.

Applicants must agree to create at least a minimum number of jobs based on the following formula:

[Total Amount of Federal CED Funds Awarded] divided by [$25,000 for construction projects or $20,000 for non-construction projects] = [Minimum Number of Jobs to be Created].

While the focus of the program is on the creation of jobs for individuals with low incomes as defined by the poverty guidelines published annually by HHS, it is not expected that 100 percent of the created jobs will necessarily be filled by individuals with low incomes. Often when a business is created or expanded, there is a need to hire high-level managers or other content experts with unique skills and/or experiences that may be more difficult to identify and recruit. For this reason, only a minimum of 75 percent of the newly created jobs are required be filled by individuals with low incomes. It is also expected that these jobs will support individuals with low incomes in achieving self-sufficiency, through wages, benefits, and opportunities for career growth. The application must demonstrate that the full-time positions created will be sustained for at least one year after the end of the grant period.

Bonus points will be awarded for the following (see solicitation for more details):

  • Alignment with financial literacy initiatives (2 points)
  • Underserved areas: States or trust territories without active CED grants (2 points; note, New Mexico is not listed)
  • Underserved areas: Projects located in county with persistent poverty (2 points)
  • Underserved areas: CED project located in rural communities (2 points)
  • Alignment with Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program (2 points)

Amount: A total of $17,200,000 is available to award 22 grants ranging from $100,000-$800,000 and averaging $781,818 per project period. The grant period for non-construction projects is 3 years; the grant period for construction projects is 5 years.

Eligibility: Applicants must meet three conditions:

  • Be a private, nonprofit CDC with 501(c)(3) status
  • Have articles of incorporation or bylaws demonstrating that the CDC has as a principal purpose the planning, developing, or managing of low-income housing or community economic development activities
  • The Board of Directors must have representation from each of the following: community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=288729

Note: Applications will also be accepted in 2018 and 2019 with the following deadlines: April 27, 2018 and April 26, 2019. The Federal Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will be open for application submission at least 60 days prior to the listed due date.

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