Economic framework provides path to federal funds

Date: Monday, July 27, 2020

A broad swath of organizations in the seven-county metro area, including local governments, will soon have access to federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds, thanks to a regional partnership. Among available funds are those that support projects and programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Met Council, Greater MSP, and the Center for Economic Inclusion have collaborated to produce a draft Regional Economic Framework (PDF). The EDA requires regions to adopt a comprehensive economic development strategy to qualify for a share of the $225 million allocation of federal CARES Act funding for the eight-state area that includes Minnesota.

Organizations that are eligible to apply include tribal nations, state and local government, higher education institutions, and public or private nonprofit organizations working in cooperation with government. Applicants must clearly state how their proposed project would “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” or respond to “economic injury as a result of coronavirus.” Read “5 Things to Know about the Federal EDA Cares Act Funding Opportunity” from Greater MSP.

Framework prioritizes racial equity and inclusion

Beyond meeting federal requirements, the framework will serve as a platform for future policy and action. It provides an analysis of the region’s economy, including its strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats. The framework also establishes nine strategic priorities. Racial inclusion is one of those priorities, but it is also infused in many of the others.

Job growth, startups and innovation, talent migration, racial inclusion, skills and workforce, regional brand and image, housing affordability, transportation and mobility, and new climate economy.

The framework’s vision: The Greater MSP region will lead the world in inclusive economic growth by welcoming all, empowering talent, and igniting innovation.

“For our region to have a prosperous future, we must take bold action to create equitable and inclusive opportunities for all the region’s residents,” said Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “This framework is a step forward in those efforts. We are committed to working with all of our partners to achieve its vision.”

Each of the framework partners has a distinct role in the region:

  • Greater MSP is the regional economic development partnership for the 15-county Greater MSP region.

  • Center for Economic Inclusion is a cross-sector organization dedicated to advancing inclusive growth to achieve regional prosperity in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region.

  • Met Council does long-range planning for the seven-county metro area and operates essential services, like transit and wastewater treatment, that are a foundation for economic prosperity.

This effort has also been supported by contributions and feedback from many other organizations throughout the region, representing expertise in transportation and mobility, housing affordability, the new climate economy, and equity and inclusion.

Comment on the draft Regional Economic Framework

Email Michael.Larson@metc.state.mn.us to comment on the draft Regional Economic Framework (PDF). The Council is expected to adopt the framework on August 12.

Posted In: Council News

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