U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Economic Development Projects
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 of the program is to support businesses that develop new products, services, and 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 that are ready to be implemented at the time of the grant award and completed during the assigned project period. The CED program permits facility construction as needed to support participating business creation, expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for participating 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.
Successful business plans for CED projects must include a realistic project plan with the following key elements:
- A timeline that clearly demonstrates that the proposed project will be completed and all CED funding expended within the proposed grant period
- A plan demonstrating that CED funds will be managed consistent with applicable federal regulations, whereas recipients must have control over and accountability for all funds, property, and other assets
- A proposal demonstrating how recipients will use the property for the originally-authorized purpose, and will not encumber the property without approval of the awarding agency.
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 the Department of Health and Human Services, 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, it is required that a minimum of 75 percent of the newly created jobs be filled by individuals with low incomes. These jobs are expected to support individuals with low incomes in achieving self-sufficiency through wages, benefits, and opportunities for career growth.
Amount: A total of $13,100,000 is available to award 17 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.
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