Economic Development Administration Public Works Grants

The  U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) makes grants for a range of capital investments including multimodal infrastructure projects. Applicants may not be for-profit entities, however, most grants fund investments that provide direct benefits to private for-profit entities. Such projects are typically pursued in collaboration between the public and private spheres. For example: a railroad, a manufacturer and a county might collaborate to support the county’s application for a public rail spur to support a factory expansion.

EDA has two main grant programs:

  • Public Works & Economic Development Facilities: This program funds a range of capital investments, such as rail and road connections or facility improvements. This program requires non-federal matching and the investment must be in a federally-designated economically distressed area. Average award size is about $1.3 million.
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance: This program provides construction and non-construction assistance to regions experiencing severe economic dislocations. This can include natural disasters, military base closures, trade related disruptions and major private sector employer restructurings. Average award size is about $1 million

Program Eligibility, Funding and Timing

EDA grants require between fifty and eighty percent non-federal funding match. Smaller amounts of funding are offered for a range of technical assistance and planning activities. These can be useful to prepare to seek funding from one of the main grant programs.

All proposals should address creation and/or retention of high-quality jobs and document that the applicant can:

  • Leverage other public or private resources.
  • Commence the project promptly.
  • Provide a clear scope of work that includes specific, measurable outputs.

Proposed projects should address one or more of EDA’s strategic investment priorities:

  • Recovery & Resilience: Projects that assist with economic resilience (including business continuity and preparedness) and long-term recovery from natural disasters and economic shocks to ensure U.S. communities are globally competitive.
  • Critical Infrastructure: Projects that establish the fundamental building blocks of a prosperous and innovation-centric economy and a secure platform for American business, including physical (e.g., broadband, energy, roads, water, sewer) and other economic infrastructure.Workforce
  • Development & Manufacturing: Projects that support the planning and implementation of infrastructure for skills-training centers and related facilities that address the hiring needs of the business community — particularly in the manufacturing sector — with a specific emphasis on the expansion of apprenticeships and work-and-learn training models. Also includes projects that encourage job creation and business expansion in manufacturing, including infrastructure-related efforts that focus on advanced manufacturing of innovative, high-value products and enhancing manufacturing supply chains.
  • Exports & FDI: Primarily infrastructure projects that enhance community assets (e.g., port facilities) to support growth in U.S. exports and increased foreign direct investment—and ultimately the return of jobs to the United States.

EDA grants are accepted on a rolling basis with evaluations performed quarterly. Because these are smaller grants the application process is not as complex as for other funding programs. It does require close cooperation between public and private stakeholders, coordination in planning and specific project development and outcome analyses that must be incorporated into a formal application document.

Seneca has extensive experience preparing applications for federal loan and grant assistance on behalf of both public and private entities. We can support your EDA grant application process from start to a successful conclusion. For more information please contact us.