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April 2019

Spotlight: EDA’s University Center Economic Development Program

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University Center Locations Map

EDA's University Center Economic Development Program makes the vast resources of universities available to the economic development community. The University Center Program allows institutions of higher education to establish and operate University Centers (UCs) specifically focused on helping to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship.

The UCs, which EDA considers long-term partners in economic development, are required to devote the majority of their funding to respond to technical assistance requests originating from organizations located in the economically distressed portions of their service regions.

Click here to read more.

Success Story: University of North Carolina Home Grown Tools Give Local Leaders Across the Nation Access to Development Strategies Used by Peers

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UNC’s Kenan Center for Private Enterprise

Say you are an economic developer or local leader and you want to develop a way to revitalize your downtown. Where do you go? Local practitioners in this position would generally rely on their past experiences or personal connections to get examples of activities that may be appropriate. And while these practices may yield insightful information, constraining future possible action based on the bounds of an individual’s experience or LinkedIn Profile is usually not the most prudent way to facilitate robust economic development.

Enter Kenan Center for Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an EDA-funded University Center (PDF), the organization saw first-hand through work with communities the need for accessible, compelling, and detailed information that local leaders could use to help them shape local economic development projects. While the need was present, there did not seem to be an easy answer.

Click here to read more.

Highlight: UC-Supported Business FANTASTIC55 Helping People Plan an Encore Career

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Fantastic55 Founder Ann O’Meara

Nearly one in four new entrepreneurs nationally are between the ages of 55 and 64. A few factors play into this: the age group is well-educated, they have strong professional networks, they have access to capital (usually funded with savings instead of personal loans), are digitally savvy and can withstand risk.

Ann O’Meara, age 62, fits the bill for such an entrepreneur. She saw a gap, used her deep experience and long career in marketing and created Fantastic55, a website aimed at those over 55. The site offers how-to’s and interesting finds on the internet that inspire and educate. She even sells some swag in her online store.

Click here to read more.

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Focusing on Opportunity Zones

Assistant Secretary Fleming highlighted opportunity zones at the IEDC Fed Forum on April 15. Read his remarks. DAS-RA Dennis Alvord participated on the ‘Opportunity Zones and Federal Financing Panel’ at the CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 17. Read his remarks. For more, please also read the ‘EDA Focuses in on Qualified Opportunity Zones’ blog post.


Webpage Update: ‘EDA and Disaster Recovery’

The updated 'EDA and Disaster Recovery' page showcases information on the 2017 disasters supplemental, the latest success stories and news, our disaster-impacted communities brochure (PDF), and more!


DOC Blog Feature

Secretary Ross discusses The Tax Cuts and Job Act: New Low Taxes and New Investments to Distressed Communities


Video: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing (April 9)

Watch Assistant Secretary Fleming testify at the “Building Prosperity: EDA’s Role in Economic Development and Recovery” hearing.


Homegrown Tools Webinar May 8, 3:30 pm EDT

Join us on May 8, at 3:30pm EDT as leaders from EDA University Center, the Kenan Center for Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill demonstrate their Home Grown Tools platform. Through this 1-hour webinar, participants will learn how to access and use the tool, including how to search by strategy type, geography, and case study; why this matters and how it can be used; and ways further case studies can be added to the tool to expand the repertoire of examples for those working in the field of community and economic development. Sign up for the webinar here.


EDA in the News!

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Former Louisiana Congressman John Fleming promoted to federal position in the EDA
Louisiana Radio Network, 4/13/2019

Feds invest $2 million in Frankfort, Illinois
Suburban Chicagoland, 4/12/2019

Durant awarded $1.5M grant for wastewater improvements
Journal Record, 4/9/2019

Remarks by President Trump at the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Meeting
Whitehouse.gov (Press Release), 4/5/019

Viroqua receives $2.6M in federal funds to update water infrastructure
News8000.com – WKBT, 4/4/2019

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