Volume II; issue iii | March 2021
Submitted by the Executive Director's office.

Eastern Carolina Council of Governments (ECCOG) would love to share your news with the Region. Email your stories to eccadmin@eccog.org
COVID-19 Related

Governor Cooper shared this statement on SB 36:

"This pandemic continues to strain communities across our state, and this investment of federal funds in critical areas will help us defeat COVID-19 and build back a stronger and more resilient North Carolina."
Grant Opportunities
EDA invites applications for economic development grant opportunities
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications under its Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Through these programs, EDA invites applications to request grant assistance for clearly defined construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment or enhance economic development decision-making, respectfully. Through EDA’s grant programs construction may support the construction of new public assets or the renovation of existing public assets, which include but are not limited to water/sewer lines, tanks, systems, pumps; incubators; access roads; workforce training facilities; commercialization centers; and port improvements.  EDA’s non-construction projects can support a wide array of activities, including highest and best use analysis, cluster and supply chain mapping studies, and regional technical assistance projects. Matching share funds are required and must be committed at the time of the project and for the same scope of work. For Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs the match is generally 50 percent, although communities may qualify for a higher grant rate. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at hsherman@eda.govTo access the funding notice and application forms, please go to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=321695.
 
Reminder: US Department of Education offering Talent Search Grants to support completion of postsecondary education
US Department of Education invites public or private agencies, institutions of higher education, and/or secondary schools to apply under the Talent Search Grant program for funding to support the identification of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with potential for education at the postsecondary level and encourage them to complete secondary school and undertake postsecondary education. Applications are due February 26, 2021. To learn more, please go to: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-12-28/pdf/2020-28583.pdf.

USDA accepting applications to support RLFs that service microentrepreneurs in rural areas
USDA Rural Development has announced it is now accepting applications from nonprofits, cooperatives, and federally-recognized tribes interested in creating revolving loan funds to support rural businesses and community development projects in their area. Applications are competitive and must be submitted to the NC Rural Development State Office by 4:30pm on March 31, 2021 for the third quarter or by 4:30pm on June 30, 2021 for consideration in the fourth quarter. To learn more, please go to: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-microentrepreneur-assistance-program.

USDA accepting applications to community facilities technical assistance and training
USDA Rural Development invites eligible applicants (States, counties, cities, townships, and incorporated towns and villages, borough, authorities, districts, and Indian Tribes on Federal and State reservations) to submit applications for Technical Assistance and/or training with respect to essential community facilities. Through this program, resources are provided to help eligible entities identify and plan for community facility needs that exist in their area. To learn more, please go to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=330870.

USDA Strategic Economic and Community Development resources
USDA will advance projects that promote and advance strategic community and regional plans, included the CEDS. USDA is hosting a webinar on February 9, 2021 at 4pm ET to showcase the FY 2021 application requirements and process. To participate, please go to: https://globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1415040&tp_key=af3bf09f1e.

DOT to offer Regional Infrastructure Accelerator grants
US DOT will offer up to five grants through a national competition aimed at establishing Regional Infrastructure Accelerators designed to expedite the delivery of transportation infrastructure projects through innovative finance and delivery methods. Applications must be received by March 31, 2021. To learn more, please go to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=330635

Webinars
FEMA will be offering a course titled "Recovery from Disaster: Local Community Roles." virtually in March and again in May.

This course addresses newly updated content about concepts in disaster recovery and the latest guidance on recovery planning. Participants will either assess their own recovery plan or a sample against this national planning guidance. Following that, participants will discuss how a disaster recovery effort can be organized, managed, and led along with the types of challenges faced by recovery managers. Case study activities throughout the course give participants the opportunity to target information strategies, address local capabilities and challenges, and analyze experiences from various communities that have experienced disaster. For more detail, or to register click here

National Hazards Center and FEMA offer webinar on leveraging building codes to save property and foster resiliency
Recent disasters have affirmed the importance of good planning and planning practices. To showcase why and how this matters, the National Hazards Center has partnered with FEMA to offer a webinar entitled “Building Codes Save: The Data Behind a Nationwide Effort to Reduce Hazard-Related Property Loss.” This webinar will include a panel of experts showcasing best practices and examples of how hazard-resistant codes in communities nationwide can mitigate property loss. This webinar is showcasing results from recently completed study entitled “Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study” which is available at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/risk-management/building-science/building-codes-save-study?utm_source=NHC+Master+List&utm_campaign=21d731e9fd-CallforContributions_2019_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_dabc309806-21d731e9fd-54483674. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 1:00pm to 2pm Eastern. To register, please go to:
 
Webinar to offer insights to help educational institutions become better prepared to support next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs
Innovation – or the capacity to create new value from new or existing items – is common in our lexicon, but perhaps nowhere more so than educational institutions. Charged with preparing students for emerging opportunities of the future in a period of rapid change and technological advances, the how is the challenging part. Tony Wagner, author of Learning by Heart, will present recommendations for those engaged in this field to foster more engagement, capacity to innovate, and successful outcomes. Anyone interested or charged with fostering entrepreneurship or workforce/educational activities may be interested in this information. The webinar will be held on February 25, 2021 from 1:00-2:30pm Eastern and is free.  To register, please go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NI-G7vfmQ9mNgCXWNBRL7A.
 
Webinar highlighting strategies for supporting walkable communities
America Walks is hosting a webinar on February 10, 2021 from 2-3pm Eastern to discuss the impact strategies for fostering walkable communities. For more information and the registration link, please go to: https://americawalks.org/new-webinar-what-can-a-body-do-how-we-meet-the-built-world-a-conversation-with-author-sara-hendren/
 
CFDA to host free webinar on restoring hospitality industry
CFDA is hosting a free webinar aimed at scanning the impact of the hospitality industry and highlighting strategies that can be leveraged to help the industry stay afloat. The webinar will occur on February 16, 2021 at 2pm. To register for this webinar, please go to: https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/webcasts.nsf/register?open&set=BNY&events=.
 
BroadbandUSA to offer webinar on available broadband data that may be leveraged to effective planning
Accessible and affordable broadband have become critical components to cultivating vibrant economic development. There is a tremendous amount of federal data available through a variety of publicly available sources that can assist communities with getting starting or moving forward planning efforts to realize this goal. The webinar is entitled “Data as the Foundation for Broadband Planning” and will be held on February 17, 2021 at 2pm ET.   To register for the webinar, please go to: https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/ntia-event/february-2021-webinar-data-foundation-broadband-planning#contententarea.
 
USDA to host webinar on resilience in food systems and agriculture
USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement will host a virtual forum entitled “Building Resilience in Agriculture & Food Systems through Innovative and Strategic Partnerships” on February 17, 2021 from 1:00pm-4:30pm Eastern.  To register, please go to: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=5zZb7e4BvE6GfuA8-g1Glx9T9qtOOKpAp5kEHkHEO81UQU8wOTlTOTAzVkVWTEo0TTM3MjBIMzVSMi4u&utm_campaign=Washington%20Snapshot&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=108722084&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_9sZzoFJBzXiQyXjZLVgkHgd6G91CLSjRR3k6n1NZYXFGsJvRdx5TOc0GsYEeB7ykenQ5swZD9R1DidagTEq-7jNnRQw&utm_content=108722084&utm_source=hs_email.
 
BroadbandUSA hosting webinar on using data as foundation of broadband planning
BroadbandUSA is hosting a webinar on February 17, 2021 at 2pm ET entitled “Data as the Foundation for Broadband Planning.” This webinar will highlight some of the federal data sources that are collected and available and how they can be used to undertake broadband planning. To register more, please go to: https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/ntia-event/february-2021-webinar-data-foundation-broadband-planning

Regional Happenings
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Friday that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations in North Carolina as a result of excessive rain that occurred April 1 – Nov. 14, 2020.  Click here to read more.
January 2021 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency newsletter focuses on the mechanics of how Opportunity Zones can be leveraged to strengthen communities
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s January issue of Community Development Investments focuses exclusively on Opportunity Zones – summarizing what they are, how they can work, and ways they have been leveraged. To review the information, please go to:   https://www.occ.gov/publications-and-resources/publications/community-affairs/community-developments-investments/jan-2021/pub-ca-cdi-newsletter-jan-2021.pdf.
 
Toolkit for fostering outdoor recreation released
The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable recently released a new toolkit aimed at helping rural communities building on the outdoor recreation economy. This tool may be of interest to local and regional leaders in areas working to promote the outdoor economy. To access the toolkit, please go to: https://recreationroundtable.org/rural-development-toolkit/.
 
Article on Building a more resilient economy
Fostering an inclusive economy has always been important, but the realities born out over the last year have renewed the importance of supporting economic development activities that foster inclusive and resilient development. A new article highlights strategies that communities can employ to foster resilience in a post-COVID environment.  To read the article, please go to: https://www.route-fifty.com/finance/2021/02/inclusive-and-resilient-economic-development/171818/.
 
CDFA releases guidebook on best practices for RLFs
The Council of Development Finance Agencies, CDFA, released a new resource entitled “Revolving Loan Fund Best Practices Handbook – Characteristics of High Performing RLFs”. This resource can be used to assess the best practices which may be employed to strengthen the effectiveness of RLFs. To view the resource please go to: https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/ordredirect.html?open&id=CDFA-EDA-RLF-best-practices-handbook.
 
EPA toolkit to help support Opportunity Zone investment available
Looking to attract investment into your Opportunity Zone? A resource guide entitled “Leveraging Development Finance Tools to Attract Opportunity Zone Investment” offers practical and insightful information that may be used to help communities move forward.   To read the report, please go to: https://www.cdfa.net/r/CDFA-Skeo_2020-07_DF-Tools-OZ-Investment-Guide.html.
 
New Guide for leveraging Opportunity Zones to create more equitable development released
Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Cities of Service have recently released a guidebook entitled “Guiding Opportunities Practitioner’s Guide: Engaging Communities to Create More Equitable Opportunity Zones.” To access the full report, please go to: https://citiesofservice.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Cities-of-Service-Guiding-Opportunities-Practitioners-Guide.pdf
Are you ready to lead the planning department in a fast-growing town in North Carolina’s capital county? If so, read on! The Town of Rolesville wants someone with strong communication skills, experience in long-range planning and project management, and a customer-service orientation to manage a growing department and help implement its Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan, and Main Street Vision Plan. The salary range is $84,114-$112,915. Click here for more details.

Next Scheduled Meeting:
TCC & TAC - March 18, 2021 at 9:20 a.m.

Next Scheduled Meeting:
TCC - March 23, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
TAC - March 30, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Next Scheduled Meetings
Executive Committee Board
March 11, 2021
3rd Floor Conference Room at ECC