Eligibility & Funding Priorities

The 2018 SEDAP Application Cycle opens March 1, 2018 and closes June 29, 2018.

Entities that are eligible to apply for DRA funding include:

  • state and local governments  (state agencies, city and county/parish);
  • public bodies; and
  • non-profit entities.

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.

Once deemed eligible, priority for project funding is determined by whether the county or parish is deemed distressed, the Federal Priority Declarations, the DRA Regional Development Plan Goals listed below, and each state’s DRA Strategic Plan Priorities as listed in the state’s economic development plan.

The 2018 SEDAP manual, including eligibility and priority notes, can provide further information for parties interested in applying for funding in the 2018 cycle.

Federal Priority Criteria

In order to elevate any project to “priority” status, applicants must also clearly demonstrate how the project would meet at least one of the Federal Priority Eligibility Criteria (described below), at least one of the DRA Regional Development Plan goals, and at least one of the State’s DRA Strategic Plan priorities.

  • Innovation and Small Business: projects include business and industry prospects committed to job creation and/or retention through the execution of a DRA Participation Agreement. This category also includes projects addressing healthy workforce solutions as a component of Business Development which can clearly demonstrate measurable results in health metrics, and improved employment data for a specific employer or business sector.
  • Regional Approach: projects providing benefits to constituents in multiple counties or parishes, or multiple municipalities within a single county or parish.
  • Multiple Funding Partners: projects that achieve desired outcomes through a collaborative effort with other funding sources, thereby increasing the leverage ratio of DRA dollars to other project dollars.  In-kind contributions can be considered leverage.
  • Emergency Funding Need: projects must clearly demonstrate with supporting documentation provided by the appropriate state or federal agency, but for the DRA funding, the negative implications of inaction would result in immediate and detrimental health and/or safety issues for the constituents served. This type project will carry the highest priority and also the highest threshold for meeting this guideline.
  • Registered Apprenticeship: Projects supporting Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs and sustainable career pathways with partners at the local, regional, and statewide levels will be considered a federal priority.
  • Infrastructure: DRA is congressionally mandated to expend 50% of its appropriated SEDAP dollars on Basic Public and Transportation Infrastructure projects.  With the new presidential administration, there is an increased emphasis in these two areas.  Projects which fall within these categories and include a direct connection to active economic development activities will receive full consideration.
  • Broadband Infrastructure: Sustainable, public projects which serve to increase local access to high speed wired or wireless internet will be considered a federal priority.  

Regional Development Plan Goals

An important component of successful applications is alignment with the DRA's regional development goals, objectives, and strategies. A complete listing of the objectives and strategies listed under each of the three goals below can be found in the DRA Regional Development Plan III (RDPIII), updated in April 2016. The following list provides a summary of the RDPIII objectives:

  • GOAL 1. IMPROVED WORKFORCE COMPETITIVENESS: Advance the productivity and economic competitiveness of the Delta workforce.
  • GOAL 2. STRENGTHENED INFRASTRUCTURE: Strengthen the Delta’s physical, digital, and capital connections to the global economy.
  • GOAL 3. INCREASED COMMUNITY CAPACITY: Facilitate local capacity building within Delta communities, organizations, and businesses.

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.