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Grants to USA Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies, Tribes, and Special Districts
to Mitigate the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Act - Build Back Better Regional Challenge Funding

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Economic Development Administration (EDA or the Agency), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), and the American Rescue Plan Act

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/15/22 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, IHEs, government agencies, Tribes, and special districts to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Applicants are required to submit a concept proposal and finalize required registrations prior to submitting a full application. This program is designed as a two-phase competition to help regions develop transformational economic development strategies and fund the implementation of those strategies that will create and grow regional growth clusters. Such efforts will help regional economies recover from the pandemic and build economic diversity and resiliency to mitigate the impacts of future economic disasters.

Through this American Rescue Plan Act Build Back Better Regional Challenge Notice of Funding Opportunity (ARPA BBBRC NOFO), EDA aims to assist communities and regions impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has caused, and continues to cause, economic injury to U.S. communities and regions in devastating and unprecedented ways. 

In Phase 1, EDA will provide technical assistance grants to approximately 50-60 coalitions (through a lead institution). These coalitions will be considered “finalists” and the grants will be used by the finalists to prepare more detailed applications for transformational projects that benefit their respective geographic regions and are aligned around a holistic approach to building and scaling a strategic industry. 

In Phase 2, EDA will award each of the 20-30 finalist coalitions $25-75 million (and potentially up to $100 million) to fund the collection of projects they identified. The projects will be funded through grants to coalition members.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197709

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 55

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $500,000
- Award Floor: $200,000

EDA anticipates up to $30,000,000 in total being awarded in Phase 1, in technical assistance grants of up to $500,000 each. In Phase 2, EDA anticipates funding regional growth clusters with component projects that collectively cost between approximately $25,000,000 and $75,000,000, though EDA will consider regional growth clusters above and below these amounts depending on the strength of the Proposal and quality of the individual component projects. EDA anticipates that the cost of individual non-construction and construction component projects within regional growth clusters will range from approximately $750,000 to $25,000,000, or more if the cluster or project warrants it.

Term of Contract:

Note that all component projects must be complete by September 30, 2027 and that this deadline cannot be extended.


  • County governments
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Pursuant to section 3(4) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. § 3122(4)(a)) and 13 C.F.R. § 300.3 (Eligible Recipient), eligible applicants under this NOFO include a(n):
(i) District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD);
(ii) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
(iii) State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
(iv) Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
(v) Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a general purpose political subdivision of a State.

Under this NOFO, EDA is not authorized to provide grants or cooperative agreements to individuals or to for profit entities. Requests from such entities will not be considered for funding.

Pre-Application Information:

This is a two-phase competition. The deadline for Phase 1 Concept Proposals is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 19, 2021. For Phase 1 finalists, the deadline for Full Applications submitted under Phase 2 is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 15, 2022. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered.
- Phase 1 Concept Proposals will be accepted through EDA will not accept paper, facsimile, or email transmissions of applications.
- Phase 2 Full Applications will be accepted through through a web address provided by EDA to entities selected during Phase 1.

To be considered for funding under Phase 1, an applicant must submit a complete Phase 1 Concept Proposal and additional required documentation. To be considered for funding under Phase 2, the proposed project must support a Concept Proposal selected as a finalist under Phase 1, and the applicant for that project must be a member of the Coalition associated with that Concept Proposal. All Phase 2 projects must be part of a Phase 2 Full Application. Requirements for Phase 1 Concept Proposals and Phase 2 Full Applications are detailed in section D.2 of the NOFO.

With respect to Phase 1, Concept Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 19, 2021. EDA anticipates expeditiously reviewing complete Concept Proposals and awarding technical assistance grants by December 8, 2021. With respect to Phase 2, Full Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 15, 2022; however, applications for Phase 2 projects may be submitted as soon as the application is ready. EDA anticipates expeditiously reviewing complete Full Applications and making Phase 2 award announcements no later than September 2022. EDA may seek additional information or documentation from the applicant to clarify information presented in the Concept Proposal or Full Application. EDA also may, in its sole discretion, continue review of any application with minor defects or errors, while the applicant supplies the missing information. Please see section E of this ARPA BBBRC NOFO for more information on EDA’s review and selection process.

EDA strongly encourages applicants to consult with the appropriate POC listed in section G to discuss whether their project is in alignment with EDA’s Investment Priorities as well as EDA’s eligibility requirements, cost-sharing requirements, property standards, and other requirements outlined in this ARPA BBBRC NOFO. This consultation is limited to clarification of technical matters involving their proposed project, project alignment with EDA’s mission and EDA’s Investment Priorities, and all other relevant and publicly available information relating to general technical matters.

Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM):
To enable the use of a universal identifier and to enhance the quality of information available to the public as required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, applicants are required to: (i) be registered in SAM before submitting an application; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in the application; (iii) make certain certifications (see also section H.5 of this NOFO), and (iv) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which they have an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency. Lead institutions do not need to be registered in SAM by the Concept Proposal deadline, but their SAM registration must be complete before EDA may make a Phase 1 Technical Assistance award. EDA may not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the EDA is ready to make an award, EDA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant. Recipients will be subject to reporting requirements, as identified in OMB guidance published at 2 C.F.R. parts 25 and 170.

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For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Atlanta Regional Office
H. Philip Paradice, Jr., Regional Director
401 West Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 1820
Atlanta, GA 30308-3510
(404) 730-3002 Main Office
(404) 730-3025 Fax

Austin Regional Office
Jorge Ayala, Regional Director
903 San Jacinto, Suite 206
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 381-8150 Main Office
(512) 499-0478 Fax

Chicago Regional Office
Susan Brehm, Regional Director
230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3280
Chicago, IL 60604-1512
(312) 353-8143 Main Office
(312) 353-8575 Fax

Denver Regional Office
Angela Belden Martinez, Regional Director
1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 431
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 844-4715 Main Office
(303) 844-3968 Fax

Philadelphia Regional Office
Linda Cruz-Carnall, Regional Director
Robert N.C. Nix Federal Building
900 Market Street, Room 602
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 597-4603 Main Office
(215) 597-1063 Fax

Seattle Regional Office
Maeia Sellers, Regional Director
Jackson Federal Building
915 Second Avenue, Room 1890
Seattle, WA 98174-1001
(206) 220-7660 Main Office
(206) 220-7669 Fax

For state contacts, see page 38 of the NOFO in Attached Files, below.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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