“Federal economic development programs are integral tools to promote economic growth, job
creation and quality of life for communities across the United States. Fortunately, there are economic development agencies already in place throughout the federal government designed to help the administration and Congress succeed in their pursuit of these goals for American communities.”
Economic development is at the core of well-being and quality of life for communities across the United States. It is a group of policies, programs, and activities that seek to create and retain jobs and ultimately facilitate economic growth.
The federal government has created a range of programs, including infrastructure development, investment promotion, advancement of U.S. manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, and access to financial opportunities that are designed to promote economic development and improve prosperity for citizens.
Community Economic Development (CED) is a federal grant program funding Community Development Corporations that address the economic needs of individuals and families with low income through the creation of sustainable business development and employment opportunities. CED's projects create employment opportunities that lead to increased self-sufficiency for individuals with low income through a variety of activities, such as:
- Capital expenditures such as the purchase of equipment or real property
- Allowable operating expenses, and
- Loans or equity investments
- CED funds a variety of projects, including Business Incubators, Shopping Centers, Manufacturing businesses; and Agricultural initiatives.
The CED program was born out of the War on Poverty, which began in 1964 with the Economic Opportunity Act. CED awards funds to private, non-profit organizations that are community development corporations (CDCs), including faith-based organizations, and Tribal and Alaskan Native organizations. CDCs must be governed by a three-party board of directors that includes residents of the community served, and local business and civic leaders. CDCs must have as their principle purpose planning, developing or managing low-income housing or community development projects. The CED program also provides technical and financial assistance for economic development activities.
For more information, contact:
Rafael J. Elizalde, Program Manager
Community Economic Development Program Office of Community Services