The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award up to $17.9 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for low-income individuals.
CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit low-income individuals to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, and to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period.
CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects. The grant period for non-construction projects is 3 years; for construction projects, the grant period is 5 years. The CED program permits facility construction as needed to support business creation, business expansion, and/or job creation. However, it is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature.
OCS is encouraging applications from CDCs to target rural areas and underserved areas, and from 19 states and territories that do not have active CED projects, including American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Island of Guam, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Furthermore, OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program.