$1B Build Back Better Regional Challenge


Build back better regional challenge

The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge (PDF) is the marquee of EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs that aims to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities, including those grappling with decades of disinvestment.

The Challenge provides transformational investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, all while embracing equitable economic growth, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness. As part of the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment, EDA will allocate at least $100 million of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding to support coal communities.

On September 2nd, the Biden-Harris Administration announced awards for 21 regional coalitions that were finalists in the Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC). This $1 billion grant competition, created through the American Rescue Plan Act, challenged communities to identify a set of interconnected investments that, together, could transform their local economy, expand economic opportunity and competitiveness, and create thousands of good jobs.

Build Back Better Regional Challenge Awardees Map
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BBBRC awardees will each receive between $25 million and $65 million to fund 123 individual strategic projects to advance economic strategies benefiting 24 states. This federal funding is matched by more than $300 million of local investment and will leverage support from over 450 private sector and 27 labor unions or workers organizations.

These 21 coalitions were chosen from a highly competitive group of 60 finalists that each received $500,000 seed grants after being selected from 529 applicants. The selected portfolio represents the diversity of our nation and the belief that, with the right resources and opportunities, all communities can compete in the economy of the future.

EDA is further investing in the success of all 60 finalists through a Community of Practice, that will be led by Research Triangle Institute International and SSTI.

Program Resources

EDA funded two investments designed to explore, document, and disseminate the lessons, outcomes, and replicable models of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, helping amplify its impact beyond the regional coalitions awarded federal funding. For recent publications, reports, or findings, please visit ARPA Research - Research Reports and Publications.

Please see our programs resources page for more information regarding the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.


Please send email inquiries about the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge to [email protected]