Secretary of Commerce Announces Innovative EDA American Rescue Plan programs


Secretary of Commerce Announces Innovative EDA American Rescue Plan programs

July 25, 2021

Commerce Announces Innovative EDA American Rescue Plan programs

On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is announcing $3 billion in funding opportunities to invest in distressed and underserved communities, including Indian Country, impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The EDA investment is broken into six Notices of Funding Opportunities:
  • Indigenous Communities Challenge ($100 million): EDA will allocate $100 million specifically for Indigenous communities, which were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. EDA will work hand-in-hand with Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute the economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. Indigenous communities are also encouraged and eligible to apply to all of EDA’s other programs.

  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion): The challenge will invite regional coalitions to apply for funding to implement three to eight projects aligned with a cohesive regional development strategy, totaling $25 million -$75 million, and up to $100 million. This also includes a $100m set-aside aimed at coal communities.

  • Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million): This challenge will build and strengthen regional workforce training systems and sector-based partnerships and will have a focus on programs targeted at women, people of color, and historically underserved communities.

  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Challenge ($500 million): EDA has designed this to be a versatile program and will award grants to hundreds of communities across the country to support efforts to plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through projects tailored to meet local needs.

  • Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Grants ($750 million):  The EDA will allocate $240 million for competitive grants to further invest in infrastructure, workforce, or other projects to support recovery and resilience in the communities hardest hit by disruptions in the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors.

  • Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks Grants ($90 million)

Notices of Funding Opportunity for each challenge will be released shortly. All EDA American Rescue Plan funds must be awarded by September 2022.
The EDA has also released an update to its investment priorities, creating a list of seven key concepts that will drive future investment: Equality, Recovery & Resilience, Workforce Development, Manufacturing, Technology-Based Economic Development, Environmentally-Sustainable Development, and Exports & FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).


NAFOA will continue to share updates about the Notices of Funding Opportunities and guidance as we receive them.
For any other questions or concerns, please contact Nicholas Lovesee, Senior Policy Advisor, at

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