Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog


The Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was announced by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) on August 13, 2019. With the announcement, EDA is making $587 million available to communities impacted by a Presidentially-declared major disaster in 2018, or floods and tornadoes occurring in 2019. For a complete list of declared disasters in this time period, visit FEMA’s searchable database of Presidential Disaster Declarations – to access the correct information search for Major Disaster declarations during the 2018 calendar year.

Who is eligible for this funding?  

Funds are made available by EDA regional offices under the Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program. Eligible applicants under this program include: Economic Development Districts (EDDs); state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities; institutions of higher education; and public or private non-profit organizations. EDA does not make these grants available to individuals or for-profit entities.

EDA does not allocate Disaster Supplemental Funding to a specific disaster or disaster-location. Instead, EDA allocates funding across its six regional offices. Distribution of the FY2019 funding is as follows:

How much funding is available?

EDA generally expects to fund 80 percent of eligible costs. However, EDA may consider factors such as project scale, extent of disaster damage, total project cost, level of community distress, and its geographic distribution of funds when choosing to award less than 80 percent of the costs. The remaining cost share must be filled by the recipient or a third party as a condition of award.

EDA also has the authority to award up to 100 percent of project costs. Applicants experiencing economic distress, elevated need, and limited local fiscal capacity can demonstrate that need to EDA. Hagerty professionals can help you work with your local EDA point of contact to determine your eligibility and funding rate.

What can this funding be used for?

EDA Supplemental Disaster funding support a variety of project types, including both construction and non-construction projects. EDA prefers projects that provide a long-term, regionally-oriented, and collaborative development strategy that advances economic recovery and resilience.

Eligible projects may include:

  • construction, such as rebuilding a damaged facility, enhancing or strengthening existing facilities, or developing new resilient facilities;
  • capitalizing revolving loan funds;
  • planning, training, and technical assistance to promote disaster preparedness and resilience;
  • developing business incubator programs;
  • and other projects that promote economic recovery and resilience.

A strong application should closely align with EDA’s Recovery Investment Priorities, described below.

What are the EDA’s funding priorities?

EDA evaluates grant applications in line with its stated investment priorities and its mission to promote the creation and retention of high-quality jobs. EDA prefers projects that leverage outside public or private funding sources, and that can be begun quickly and completed effectively. Typically, economic recovery strategy grants are expected to be completed in 12-18 months, and construction and infrastructure projects are expected to take one to four years. Competitive applicants will be responsive to at least one of EDA’s investment priorities:

  • Recovery & Resilience: Projects that assist with economic resilience and long-term recovery.
  • Critical Infrastructure: Primarily physical infrastructure, such as broadband, energy, roads, water, sewer, but can also include other economic infrastructure.
  • Workforce Development & Manufacturing: This category is intended for skills training centers, especially in manufacturing. Training centers can be used to support apprenticeships and work-and-learn training models.This category can also be applied to advanced manufacturing facilities or manufacturing supply chain facilities.
  • Exports & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): This category is intended to support export-oriented infrastructure, such as ports. Projects that contribute to foreign investment in the United States can also qualify.
  • Opportunity Zones: This category includes projects in federally-designated Opportunity Zones, projects near Opportunity Zones, and regional projects benefiting at least one Opportunity Zone. Investing in Opportunity Zones carries certain tax benefits for investors and can serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development.

How do I apply?

Official information about the program, including instructions on submitting a proposal and application, can be found at the EDA website. You can also contact your local EDA representative to resolve any additional questions — contact information is included on pages 29-32 of the Notice of Funding Availability.

Applications and proposals will be accepted, and funding awarded, on a rolling basis until all funding is committed. EDA intends to review applications within 60 days of receipt. To best position your community for an award, it is best to apply early.

To learn more about how Hagerty can help you make the most of EDA supplemental funding, please contact Garrett Ingoglia at garrett.ingoglia@hagertyconsulting.com.

Additional Information from the EDA:

  • Press Release: U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Availability of $587 Million to Aid Communities Impacted by Natural Disasters.
  • Webinar Recording: Revolving Loan Funds for Disaster Recovery Current Policy and Practices Relating to Regional Resilience
  • Have specific questions for the EDA about the grants? Here are the EDA Regional Contacts
  • For more information on Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds, visit the IRS FAQ website.