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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
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Programs and Initiatives

Economic Development Districts

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Map of current active Economic Development Districts as of January 2016

Economic Development Districts (EDDs) are multi-jurisdictional entities, commonly composed of multiple counties and in certain cases even cross-state borders. They help lead the locally-based, regionally driven economic development planning process that leverages the involvement of the public, private and non-profit sectors to establish a strategic blueprint (i.e., an economic development roadmap) for regional collaboration.

The strategic blueprint, known as a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. A CEDS is the result of a “regionally-owned” planning process designed to guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It provides a coordinating mechanism for individuals, organizations, local governments, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about the economic direction of their region.

How do Economic Development Districts get designated by EDA?

To request designation as an Economic Development Districts (EDD), an applicant must have an EDA-approved CEDS and at least one geographical area within the designated service boundaries that meets EDA’s regional distress criteria as set out in 13 CFR § 301.3(a). EDDs are designed to represent multi-county areas so entities that request designation should be able to serve and represent the entire geographic area of the region. The requirements set out in 13 CFR parts 303 and 304 must be met and all necessary documentation outlined.

Once the appropriate documents are compiled, they must be coupled with a regional office-developed summary of the requested designation, including the name of the organization requesting the designation, and rationale for the regional office’s recommendation and include this in the EDD designation package (for regional and HQ reviews). The summary must be completed based on a thorough review of the designation request. For more information about EDD designation requirements, contact your regional office.

Need to locate an Economic Development District in your state or want more information about the EDD designation process?

To locate an Economic Development District in your state, search our Resource Directory or contact one of our regional office.

To see Economic Development Districts in action, check out our latest EDD Success Stories.