Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Economic Development Administration Seeks Public lnput on the “Economic Planning Challenge Grants”

As part of the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative announced by the Obama Administration, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is requesting comments on the “Economic Planning Grant Challenge,” a national competition encouraging communities to develop and implement comprehensive economic development plans. Pending funding approval, the Economic Planning Challenge will award six cities (in each of the Economic Development Administration’s six geographic regions) with $1 million to conduct a community-led challenge competition (the “Challenge Competition”) with the support of the Strong Cities Strong Communities Interagency Partnership and technical assistance from EDA.

As the request for comments states, “this program will target cities, towns, and regions that have experienced significant economic challenges (e.g., significant population loss, long-term economic decline, high levels of poverty and unemployment, low property values, large amounts of vacant land, or high numbers of abandoned or substandard properties) yet possess physical, commercial and social assets that can be leveraged to create jobs and revitalize their economies.” As a part of the Challenge Competition, each city will invite multidisciplinary teams to submit proposals for comprehensive economic development plans that will stimulate local economic development. The final selected plan will serve as the city’s blueprint to guide future investments towards economic prosperity.

The EDA has requested public input regarding the development of the Grant Challenge’s rules, regulations, grant amounts, eligibility and general Challenge framework. The EDA asks for responses to ten specific questions that it would like feedback on including a question on the role that the Federal government should play in helping to transform struggling cities, towns and regions into economically stable, well-functioning communities. Communities that have been grappling with these issues through efforts to transform their own neighborhoods are well positioned to provide feedback on these issues. As the notice is expected to come out in December 2011, communities should also begin reaching out to their city and regional level partners about this opportunity in anticipation of the expected release.

More information about the Economic Planning Challenge can be found here.
Individuals, organizations and communities are invited to provide input using any of the following methods by August 11th, 2011.
- E-mail: Please state “Comment on SC2 Pilot Challenge” in the subject line.Show citation box.
- Facsimile: (202) 482-2838. Please state “Comment on SC2 Pilot Challenge” on the cover page.

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