The Roanoke Valley–Alleghany Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning process is managed by the Regional Commission, as the CEDS District Organization. A CEDS is a document and ongoing planning process designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of a regional economic plan. This plan is designed to diversify and strengthen regional economies. This CEDS assesses regional economies, establishs regional goals and objectives, and outlines an action plan of priority projects. In general, the CEDS presents a set of regional priorities that when undertaken improve regional competitiveness and wealth in a global economy. The Roanoke Valley–Alleghany CEDS is the product of a planning process involving a committee of 38 voting members representing the local governments, major employers, small businesses, workforce development, regional economic development, higher education, and minority groups. All projects receiving assistance through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) programs must be consistent with the CEDS. Updates are published annually.
EDA released new guidelines which appeared in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014. The new regulations went into effect on January 20, 2015. The final rule clarifies EDA’s policies and definitions, streamlines regulations, and facilitates coordination among federal investment opportunities.
Some key changes include:
Removing the requirement that Revolving Loan Fund recipients request that EDA subordinate its interest when seeking approval to sell or securitize its portfolio.
Streamlining CEDS requirements by replacing the long list of CEDS elements with four essential planning elements.
Authorizing a grant rate of up to 80 percent to incentivize projects that encourage broad, innovative regional planning or demonstrate effective leveraging of other federal resources.
Eliminating membership thresholds and quotas for Economic Development Districts.
A complete summary of the key provisions is posted on EDA.gov, and the final rule provides detailed information about all of the changes as well as response to the 120 comments EDA received on the proposed rule.
In April 2015, EDA issued a Federal Register Notice announcing some proposed improvements to our forms as part of overall enhancements we’re making to the grant application process. On October 27, 2015, those changes went into effect with the publication of the FY2016 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO). Under this FFO, EDA solicits applications from applicants in rural and urban areas to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.