Delta Regional Authority (DRA)
Grants to Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee nonprofit organizations, public IHEs, and government agencies to support economic development throughout the Delta region. Applicants must contact the appropriate local officer for assistance with developing an application. Funding is intended to help create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of residents in the area.
The goals of the regional development plan are:
1. Workforce Competitiveness: Advance the productivity and economic competitiveness of the Delta workforce.
2. Infrastructure: Strengthen the Delta’s physical, digital, and capital connections to the global economy.
3. Community Competitiveness: Facilitate local capacity building within Delta communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals.
For strategies and actions regarding these goals, see:
The key concepts for this year’s SEDAP include: 1) a Tiered Application Designations, 2) an Expedited Pathway for Tier 1 projects, and 3) a direct connection to the federal priorities, to assist with project prioritization. To elevate a project to “Tier 1a” status, applicants must also clearly demonstrate how the project would meet the following three Federal Priority criteria: 1) job creation/retention utilizing a Participation Agreement, 2) having a regional impact, and 3) including other funding partners; in addition to having already met at least one of the DRA Regional Development Plan goals and at least one of the State’s DRA Strategic Plan priorities. Tier 2 projects will encompass all other eligible projects. Each state will be required to utilize fifty percent (50%) of the state allocation on Tier 1 projects before recommending Tier 2 projects for funding.
DRA investments may be used for the following:
- Economic Development
- Category 1: Basic Public Infrastructure
- Category 2: Transportation Infrastructure
- Category 3: Business Development, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship
- Category 4: Workforce Development projects
- Registered Apprenticeship
- Preliminary site development
- Land purchase
- Equipment or other property purchased for use by a private entity
- Health improvements
- Operating costs, as one component of an overall project
- Business incubation
- Employability skills development
- Basic residential
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and broadband
- Fire or police stations
- Phased projects
- Opportunity Zone (OZ) planning activities
- Architectural and engineering fees
For additional information about eligible expenses, see:
In addition to the above funding categories projects must meet at least one of the goals and priorities from each of these additional areas of investment focus to achieve priority status:
- Innovation and Small Business
- Regional Impact
- Multiple Funding Partners
- Emergency Funding Need
- Registered Apprenticeship
- Merging and Consolidating Public Utilities
- Broadband Infrastructure
- Water or Wastewater Rate Study
GrantWatch ID#: 183483
The total funding available is $12,395,106, to be allocated as follows:
The eligible entity must be organized and legally recognized as either a non-profit, public institution of higher learning, local form of government or other local/state entity, which is eligible to receive federal funds.
All eligible applicants must be applying for projects that operate in or are serving residents and communities within the 252 counties and parishes of the DRA footprint.
For-profit entities, while not eligible to apply directly, are a key component of economic development and, in many circumstances, the ultimate beneficiary of the project funding. They can be a partner within a project but cannot serve as the lead applicant for SEDAP funding nor receive federal funding through a pass-through relationship.
Eligible entities owing any type of federal bad debt are precluded from applying for DRA funding until such time as the federal bad debt is paid in full. Should a scenario arise where a federal bad debt is incurred after a DRA award has been made, any disbursement of grant funds will be swept by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and applied toward the debt. In this circumstance no further DRA funds would be disbursed and the grantee would be responsible for repaying these grant funds to the DRA.
For a list of ineligible expenses, see:
The 2019 SEDAP Application Cycle opens March 4, 2019 and closes May 31, 2019.
Eligible applicants should work with Local Development District (LDD) offices to prepare and submit applications to the DRA. Once project applications are received, a review and determination of project eligibility are made, and projects are then divided into Tier 1 and Tier 2 eligible projects or are considered ineligible to receive funding. Any applicant whose project is found to be ineligible will be allowed to appeal this decision by working with the LDD and/or DRA to provide additional documentation or other supporting documents to address the material issue(s) cited.
-March 1: SEDAP funding opportunity announcement
-March 1 - May 31: Deadline to submit applications
-June 1 - June 14: LDDs complete technical assistance work with applicants and submit final applications to DRA
-July 19: DRA Staff work complete
-July 26: Chairman determines eligibility
-August 9: Designees have met with Governors
-August 16: Project determination calls held
-August 30: Certification letters received and project votes closed. Announcements, award documents, notices to proceed follow immediately upon receipt of certification letters and are coordinated through DRA communications staff.
Each state plan is designed to dovetail into the DRA's Regional Development Plan and is reviewed and revised with each new administration or ever five years. Please refer to the state strategic economic development plans here:
Eligibility and Funding Priorities:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
If you are interested in applying, contact your local development district:
Kemp Morgan, Director, Project Development and Management
Amanda Allen, SEDAP Manager
Star Hoskins, Senior Program Specialist
Emanuel Edmond, MPM, Director, Monitoring and Compliance
Charles Buchanan, Director, Finance and Administration
Andy Moreau, Director, Communications/Public Engagement
Delta Regional Authority
236 Sharkey Ave., Ste. 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
P: (662) 624-8600
F: (662) 624-8537
For a list and map of distressed counties and parishes: https://www.dra.gov/funding-programs/states-economic-development-assistance-program/distressed-counties-and-parishes/
USA: Alabama; Arkansas; Illinois; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Tennessee