In 1978, NEFCO was designated as an Economic Development District by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the counties of Portage, Stark, Summit, and Wayne. This designation gives member communities ongoing eligibility for economic assistance programs through the EDA.
NEFCO maintains this eligibility by updating the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), an annual document required by the EDA and containing the region’s goals and objectives, and the economic development priorities of NEFCO members.
Every five years, NEFCO prepares a Revised Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Annual Performance Report is completed for all other years. Links to both publications can be found below. The CEDS, which represents the consensus of NEFCO’s dues-paying members, articulates the economic development planning priorities of the region.
NEFCO’s regional economic development planning program strives to grow the region’s economy through collaborative planning efforts with NEFCO’s area governments and by providing assistance in activities that:
- Promote a diversified and sustainable economy
- Support the most economically distressed areas of the region
- Capitalize on the region’s existing strengths and assist with efforts to promote innovation and technology
- Ensure the efficient use and development of land and resources.
EDA funds are available for eligible entities, as outlined in 13 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.2. These are typically governmental units, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations. EDA has stringent requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a grant, which includes a local match of about 50 percent. EDA usually targets places that display high economic distress (as measured by unemployment rates, per capita income, or a sudden loss of a major employer). NEFCO’s Selection Criteria document for Construction and Non-Construction projects is used to evaluate projects that are recommended by NEFCO’s dues-paying members (Portage, Stark and Summit Counties; and the City of Wooster).
We strongly urge potential applicants to contact NEFCO at 330.643.8514. NEFCO staff provides valuable insight into EDA programs and requirements.
Application Deadlines – Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis by the EDA.
Additional Information --
EDA Assistance Programs: http://eda.gov/about/investment-programs.htm
EDA Funding Priorities: http://eda.gov/about/investment-priorities.htm