EDA CARES Act Funding Opportunity
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, a once-in-a-generation opportunity has been created. The CARES Act has produced a $1.5 billion fund for economic recovery through the Economic Development Administration. Southwest Michigan must respond aggressively to capture our share of this funding for vital economic development projects and planning. The opportunity is uniquely broad and inclusive and the local match split required is amazingly small. This is our moment to be ambitious and innovative in reimagining our post-pandemic economy.
The Southwest Michigan Planning Commission is designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as the Economic Development District for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties.
Project Selection Process
Due to the scale of the CARES funding, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission has developed a more robust project identification and selection process in order to advance the region's strongest project proposals to the EDA grant application.
Scoring Rubric (used by CEDS Committee Members)
Call for Projects
The fourth round of applications are due Friday, February 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm. Please use the Project Submission Form to submit projects to email@example.com. It is highly recommended that you schedule a virtual meeting to discuss your project and application before submission, email Jerrid Burdue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional rounds of applications in 2021:
5th round March 15 - May 7
6th round May 24 - July 16
7th round August 2 - September 17
8th round October 11 - December 10
Frequently Asked Questions
Which projects have been awarded with EDA CARES Act funding?
While the Chicago Region has yet to award any competitive grants, several projects are pending. Here is a list of projects nation-wide that have received funding. Please note that each EDA region has a slightly different evaluation process.
What does EDA mean by "prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus" or respond to "economic injury as a result of coronavirus"?
The connection to the coronavirus does not need to be specific, rather discuss how your project acknowledges the pandemic and how it responds to it. For example, if your community's tourism sector has been decimated by COVID and the proposed project addresses economic recovery in the tourism sector, the connection has been made. As with EDA's normal funding opportunities, they are looking for one or more of their investment priorities be met.
What about project costs?
For construction projects, EDA recommends the project cost be at least $500,000 with $2-3 million being the maximum funding requested. For non-construction, projects should generally be at least $25,000.
What are the local share expectations?
Under EDA's CARES Act funding, they have decreased the required local share to 20% of total eligible project costs. However, a greater local share would make the project more competitive. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has started a program to help with the local share amount. Information on this can be found on the right side of the page.
Where can I find more information about the goals and objects in the CEDS?
Regional economic development goals and objectives can be found in the 2018 - 2022 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy with Addendum. The scoring rubric the CEDS Committee uses, evaluates how well proposed projects match with these goals and objectives so please review the document carefully.
Questions or need assistance?
Jerrid Burdue, Associate Planner
CARES Act Recovery Assistance Information from the Economic Development Administration
To be eligible for funding under EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance, applicants must explain clearly in their application how the proposed project would “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” or respond to “economic injury as a result of coronavirus.”
(CARES Act Funding starts on pg. 46)
Michigan Strategic Fund
Proposed projects that are selected by the CEDS Committee to advance to the EDA application may be eligible for local match assistance through the MEDC.
To improve the opportunities for Michigan to receive the largest share possible of the federal $225 million in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding within the region, MEDC will deploy funds through the state CDBG program to provide 50% of project match dollars, up to $250,000 per project, required for EDA Recovery Assistance applications. To be eligible for these match dollars, activities must fit within CDBG program funding guidelines. The opportunity will remain open until all available CDBG matching funds have been allocated.
To increase access to available CARES Act funds through this program, traditional CDBG geographic eligibility requirements have been waived for this effort, with all areas of the state eligible to apply for match assistance. The EDA match requirement has also been lowered to 20% of the project’s overall budget.
Eligible organizations are able to apply for CDBG match dollars through the MEDC.
Other helpful information