American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance – Frequently Asked Questions
August 2, 2021
- Who is eligible for an Economic Adjustment Assistance grant?
- Is there a match rate requirement for Economic Adjustment Assistance grants?
- What types of projects are eligible to be funded through an Economic Adjustment Assistance grant?
- How much funding has EDA pledged to support coal communities through the Economic Adjustment Assistance program?
- How does EDA define a coal community?
- What does Equity mean in the context of the Economic Adjustment Assistance program?
- My organization submitted a grant application but was not selected for funding under the CARES Act. Can we resubmit our application under the American Rescue Plan funding?
- My organization is resubmitting our CARES Act application for funding under the American Rescue Plan. Will our application be evaluated under EDA’s new Investment Priorities or under the Investment Priorities in effect at the time of our original application.
- What changes should I be aware of when applying for an Economic Adjustment Assistance grant under the American Rescue Plan funding?
- How can I submit my application for EDA funding?
- What is the deadline to submit my application?
- What should I do if I have additional questions not answered in this FAQ?
Eligible applicants for EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program funding include:
- District Organizations of EDA-designated Economic Development Districts
- Indian Tribes, which include Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and any Alaska Native Village or Regional Corporation (as defined in or established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)1
- State and Local governments or political subdivisions, including special purpose units of State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, such as regional water and sewer districts, airport commissions, and regional economic development commissions
- Institutions of higher education
- Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations working in cooperation with officials of a general purpose political subdivision of a State (e.g., a city, town, or county).
The presumptive grant rate is 80%; EDA has discretion to reach 100%. Unlike with past EDA grant programs, applications that provide more match may be more competitive.
3. What types of projects are eligible to be funded through an Economic Adjustment Assistance grant?
A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, public works, and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding from the Economic Adjustment Assistance program. See section A. of the American Rescue Plan Act Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity for more details.
4. How much funding has EDA pledged to support coal communities through the Economic Adjustment Assistance program?
As a part of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan funding, EDA is making a Coal Communities Commitment, allocating $300 million to ensure support for these communities as they recover from the pandemic and create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. This commitment will be fulfilled in part by $200 million of the $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants.
Please visit https://eda.gov/arpa/coal-communities/ for additional details.
Coal communities are communities and regions that can reasonably demonstrate how changes in the coal economy have resulted or are anticipated to result in job losses and layoffs in any coal-reliant commercial sector. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Coal mining
- Coal-fired power plants
- Related transportation, logistics, and/or supply chain manufacturing industries
In general, EDA will consider applications for projects in communities and regions where the primary coal economy contraction “event” (e.g., closure of a coal mine or a coal-fired power plant, closure of various coal economy supply chain businesses, etc.) took place within 15 years of the application submission date. Note, this timeframe is a range during which projects will generally be eligible; applicants may propose projects outside this timeframe, but should take special care to demonstrate that the primary coal economy contraction “event” continues to tangibly impact the community.
There is no pre-defined list of impacted coal communities. To demonstrate eligibility, complete applications must provide appropriate third party economic and demographic statistics that document the extent to which contractions in the coal economy have negatively impacted the community or region. For example, an applicant might provide copies of WARN notices showing substantial layoffs in coal and coal-related industries.
Equity is defined in EDA’s Investment Priorities as projects or programs that directly benefit:
- one or more traditionally underserved populations, including but not limited to women, Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders; or
- underserved communities within geographies that have been systemically and/or systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic prosperity such as Tribal Lands, Persistent Poverty Counties (XLSX), and rural areas with demonstrated, historical underservice.
For more information on these populations and geographies see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/.
7. My organization submitted a grant application but was not selected for funding under the CARES Act. Can we resubmit our application under the American Rescue Plan funding?
An applicant that submitted an application that was not funded under the CARES Act can resubmit with a letter to EDA requesting a review under the new American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance NOFO. The letter must contain a certification that the project is unchanged and all matching funds remain available. If there are any changes to the application, applicants must submit a new application.
Applicants should note that the evaluation criteria for the Economic Adjustment Assistances under the American Rescue Plan are different than that under EDA’s CARES program and EDA will be using the new criteria. Applicants may choose to adjust their applications accordingly and submit the application again through www.grants.gov. See section E.1 of the EAA NOFO for additional information on this program’s evaluation criteria.
Please visit https://eda.gov/funding-opportunities/ for additional details on project eligibility requirements.
8. My organization is resubmitting our CARES Act application for funding under the American Rescue Plan. Will our application be evaluated under EDA’s new Investment Priorities or under the Investment Priorities in effect at the time of our original application.
EDA will reconsider your application for funding using the new Investment Priorities; applicants may choose to adjust their applications accordingly and submit again through Grants.gov.
All applications for CARES Act funding were required to demonstrate that they were aligned with EDA’s “Recovery and Resilience” investment priority, and because “Recovery and Resilience” remains an investment priority, applicants should not be adversely affected by the change in investment priorities.
9. What changes should I be aware of when applying for an Economic Adjustment Assistance grant under the American Rescue Plan funding?
In question B.8 on the ED-900 form, applicants must outline the steps that they will take to ensure that economic benefits of the project will be shared by all communities in the project region, including any underserved communities.
For construction projects only, explain in question B.2 on the ED-900 form whether, and if so how, the project will incorporate strong labor standards, including project labor agreements and community benefit agreements, that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions, and a description of the applicant’s workforce plans and practices.
CARES Act applicants can supply this supplemental information separately if necessary.
All EDA NOFOs and application forms are posted at www.grants.gov, and can be accessed either by searching www.grants.gov for the funding opportunity you would like, or accessing the link directly through https://eda.gov/funding-opportunities/.
Before applying for EDA funding, an organization must take several steps to obtain credentials and register with several systems that may require 25 or more business days to complete. The technical requirements and systems associated with generating these credentials require confirmation at each step and the process can be lengthy—especially for organizations without an employer identification number (EIN) —and require interaction with multiple organizations outside of EDA.
EDA strongly encourages applicants in the process of forming—or that have formed but are not yet registered on www.grants.gov—to do so as soon as possible.
While EDA will accept applications on a rolling basis under the American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity, the American Rescue Plan requires EDA to award funds by September 30, 2022. EDA plans to accept and award grant applications subject to the availability of funds.
EDA encourages eligible applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible, and strongly advises eligible applicants to submit complete applications no later than March 31, 2022 so that EDA can review and process the application in time to get a potential award in place prior to deadlines imposed by Congress. Submission by March 31, 2022 is not a guarantee of funding. Any award is subject to the availability of funds.
Please note that other American Rescue Plan programs do have application deadlines, which are set out in the Notice of Funding Opportunity specific to each program. Please visit https://eda.gov/funding-opportunities/ for details on each program’s deadline.
EDA strongly encourages applicants to submit applications early and not wait until the application deadline.
- Connect with your Economic Development Representative. Contact information can be found at: https://eda.gov/contact/
- Find your Economic Development District for planning support and technical assistance: https://eda.gov/resources/directory/
1. Please note that this includes the governing body of a Tribe, non-profit Indian corporation (restricted to Indians), Indian authority, or other non-profit Indian Tribal organization or entity; provided that the Indian Tribal organization or entity is wholly owned by, and established for the benefit of, the Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village.