EDA: Build Back Better Regional Challenge Applicants Announced Showing Incredible Enthusiasm for Transformational Investment in Regions Across the Country

529 Applications Received from Regions across all 50 States and Five Territories

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that it has experienced strong interest in its American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge, receiving 529 applications from regions across all 50 states and five territories.

The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will invest $1 billion in up to 30 regions to capitalize on American ingenuity and American workers by providing a transformational investment to regions across the country. The Challenge provides a historic investment, funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, to support bottom-up, middle-out economic development focused on advancing and accelerating an equitable economic recovery, creating good-paying jobs, and building resilient regions. This investment in locally designed projects is one of the ways the Biden Administration will enhance U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.

“We are very pleased with the great response we have received to the Build Back Regional Challenge and are excited to have received 529 applications from regions spanning the entire country” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “From rural communities to university towns, major metros, and everything in between, our applicants reflect the local economies that propel our nation forward. This shows the exceptional demand for investment across the country and the enthusiasm for President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better Act will provide the resources to continue to do this much needed work so that communities can recover, Americans can get back to work, and we can enhance U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.”

To find a list of applicants and to read Assistant Secretary Alejandra Y. Castillo’s letter to them, please click here.

On July 22, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that EDA had begun implementing a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades.

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. In phase 1, 50-60 regional coalitions of partnering entities will be awarded $500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop and support three to eight projects to grow a regional growth cluster. In phase 2, EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, to implement those projects. As part of its $300 million Coal Communities Commitment, EDA will allocate at least $100 million of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding to support coal communities.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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