Economic development grants and loans can help revitalize distressed communities in urban, rural, and tribal regions. Strategic investments help support local economies, create jobs, and attract private investments to better the lives of residents.

In terms of federal grant making, economic development grants often come from the Department of Commerce’s varied bureaus: the International Trade Administration (ITA), Economic Development Administration (EDA), National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Examples of economic development programs include:

  • Economic Development Assistance Programs (EDAP): Provide distressed communities and regions with strategic investments to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investments. Funding supports construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects. Projects leverage existing assets to implement economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program - Entitlement Communities: Supports the development of viable urban communities by funding entitled cities and counties to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities which give maximum priority to low- and moderate-income individuals. Award recipients may use funds to conduct a variety of community-based activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and community services, facilities, and improvements. In addition, activities must be based on the priorities of the entitlement community.

  • Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative: Provides funding for communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry or power sector to support the development of targeted economic and workforce development strategies, feasibility studies, impact assessments, and other strategic planning efforts.

  • Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program: Provides long-term direct and guaranteed loans to qualified organizations for the purpose of financing the improvement, expansion, construction, acquisition, and operation of telephone lines, facilities, or systems to furnish and improve telecommunications service in rural areas. All facilities financed must be capable of supporting broadband services.

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