Economic Development Policies of the U.S. Economic Development Administration

The mission of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is pointed and succinct:

To lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

Source: AP News

Accordingly, EDA’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the U.S. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers: innovation and regional collaboration.

  • Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals.
  • Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not.

EDA’s Value Proposition Statement further defines its mission (abbreviated here but full text at Value Proposition Statement | U.S. Economic Development Administration (

    1. EDA makes it easier for businesses to start and grow in the U.S.
    2. EDA matching grants start with local business conditions and needs – not Washington’s.
    3. EDA drives innovation and entrepreneurship throughout our country, especially in our manufacturing sector, to help U.S. workers and businesses compete globally.

CEDS 2023 is both informed by and in alignment with the mission and programs of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Environmental/Energy Justice

Federal government agencies/departments, as part of a federal government-wide effort, are working to address housing, environmental, public health, energy, and other challenges affecting communities, specifically those adversely and disproportionately affected by environmental, climate and human health harms and risks. This includes communities historically underserved and adversely impacted by persistent poverty, inequality and lack of funding/resources.

Triggering this federal government-wide effort are two key Executive Orders issued by President Joseph Biden in January 2021. Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity an Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government | The White House), issued on January 20, 2021, expresses administration policy that the federal government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.

Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (Federal Register :: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad), issued on January 27, 2021, advances the administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice by creating the Justice40 Initiative. The Justice40 Initiative establishes a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments—including those in climate change; clean energy and energy efficiency; clean transit; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; the remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and the development of critical clean water infrastructure—flow to disadvantaged communities. Increased technical assistance and community engagement of disadvantaged communities is included in the Justice40 Initiative.

Environmental justice as defined by the EPA is “the fair treatmentEnvironmental Justice | US EPA) 6 and meaningful involvement7 of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” (

Energy justice as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy is “the goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system, while also remediating social, economic, and health burdens on those disproportionately harmed by the energy system.” (How Energy Justice, Presidential Initiatives, and Executive Orders Shape Equity at DOE | Department of Energy). At its core, energy justice applies the basic principles of civil rights to the climate space.

The equity and resilience elements of CEDS 2023 are both informed by and in alignment with federal programs geared to addressing long-standing environmental and energy justice issues in historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected communities.


CT Department of Economic and Community Development 2021 Economic Action Plan

The 2021 CT Economic Action Plan for inclusive growth is built on four pillars: 1) Workforce, 2) Communities, 3) Innovation, and 4) Business Environment (Figure 24). The 5+-year plan proposes over a dozen initiatives aimed at creating 83,000 jobs, and seeks to leverage $824 million in state funding with $938 million from the private sector. Total funding for the plan is approximately $1.8 billion (DECD-Economic-Plan-2021final.pdf (

CEDS 2023 is informed by and in alignment with the 2021 CT Economic Action Plan.

CT Department of Economic and Community Development Programs for Small Businesses

In October 2022 seCTer received a $4.5 million grant award through a new state initiative aimed at fostering the formation, growth and innovation of small businesses. Administered by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, the program specifically targets underserved businesses: at least 50 percent of the financial assistance is to fund minority-, woman-, disabled-, and veteran-owned companies, as well as those located in distressed municipalities.

The award will provide seed and growth funds to startup and existing businesses in the SECT, with a focus on companies in advanced manufacturing, offshore wind supply chain and renewable energy, childcare services, and agriculture/aquaculture production. It also will fund seCTerRise, a technical assistance initiative to provide workshops in business fundamentals, pitch events, and business planning competitions, with particular emphasis on underserved, marginalized and untapped populations in Southeastern Connecticut.

This new state initiative complements the Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund, which launched summer 2022. The Boost Fund, supported by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, is a public-private partnership that provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underserved communities. Small businesses and nonprofits can borrow between $5,000 and $500,000, depending on eligibility and need, and can choose how to spend the money — on equipment, payroll, utilities and rent, supplies, marketing and advertising, eligible refinancing, building renovations, and other expenses. Loans are not forgivable, and payback terms include a fixed 4.5% interest rate and a 60- or 72-month term, depending on the size of the loan (Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund (

As of October 2022, 66 loans totaling $10.8 million have been made, with 61 percent of those going to minority and women-owned businesses, and 23 percent to companies and nonprofits located in distressed municipalities (Governor Lamont Announces $46.6 Million To Support Small Business Growth in Connecticut).

seCTer is also host to the CT APEX Accelerator, formerly the CT Procurement Technical Assistance Center, which connects businesses with government contracts.

CT Office of Policy and Management

The CT Office of Policy and Management (OPM) prepares a state plan of conservation and development policies (State C&D Plan, also known as the POCD) every five years in accordance with Section 16a-27 of the Connecticut General Statutes. The 2018-2023 plan, titled Conservation & Development Policies: The Plan for Connecticut 2018-2023 (Conservation and Development Policies: The Plan for Connecticut), was adopted on May 4, 2022 via House Joint Resolution No. 107.

The State C&D Plan is built on a framework of six Growth Management Principles:

1. Redevelop and revitalize regional centers and areas with existing or currently planned physical infrastructure.

2. Expand housing opportunities and design choices to accommodate a variety of household types and needs.

3. Concentrate development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options.

4. Conserve and restore the natural environment, cultural and historical resources, and traditional rural lands.

5. Protect and ensure the integrity of environmental assets critical to public health and safety.

6. Promote integrated planning across all levels of government to address issues on a statewide, regional and local basis.

Though the State C&D Plan’s growth management principles are understandably broad in nature, CEDS 2023 is informed by and aligns with all six principles and with OPM general objectives to increase equitable access to economic opportunity and invigorate Connecticut’s workforce and businesses. CEDS 2023 goals and objectives encourage the creation of a regional environment conducive to and supportive of equitable and inclusive economic mobility and wealth creation by addressing issues of affordability and vulnerability created by entrenched inequality, external shocks and climate change, and by increasing access to resources necessary to build the physical and social capacity needed to enhance regional resilience.


The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) is a public agency with representatives from twenty-two towns, cities and boroughs; the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket-Pequot Tribes (affiliate, non-voting members); CT Department of Transportation (non-voting); and Southeast Area Transit (votes on MPO matters). Primary focus areas are regional planning, transportation planning (SCCOG serves as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)), and providing regional services, such as staffing assistance to local land use commissions.

Among the many SCCOG regional planning studies referenced and considered in development of CEDS 2023 are 1) Regional Plan of Conservation and Development 2017 (RPOCD_Full-Document_11-16-2017.pdf ( and its accompanying future land use map ( Sept2017_small.jpg); 2) Southeastern Connecticut Housing Needs Assessment 2018 (2018_Housing_Needs_Assessment_03162018.pdf (, and 3) “Resource Guide for Building and Preserving Affordable Housing in Connecticut,” September 2022 (Affordable-Housing-Guide-Final.pdf (, both prepared by SCCOG for the Southeastern Connecticut Housing Alliance (SECHA); 4) Southeastern Connecticut Metropolitan Transportation Plan FY 2023-2050, adopted March 2023 (2023-2050 SCCOG_MTP-adopted20230315.pdf (; 5) Transportation Improvement Program F.Y. 2021 – 2024, adopted October 2020 (TIP-20201021-1.pdf (; and 6) Regional Plan for Housing and Transportation Associated with Expansion of Submarine Shipbuilding in Southeastern Connecticut, October 2019 (Microsoft Word – 2019-10-23_JLUS _Final Report ( CEDS 2023 is informed by and in alignment with these SCCOG plans and documents.

SCCOG is also an active member of the CT Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) Region 4 Recovery Steering Committee. Region 4 (of five such regions) refers to Region 4 of the CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), of which DEMHS is a division. Region 4 includes every SCCOG-member municipality, both affiliate Tribal Nations, and 22 other municipalities in eastern Connecticut.

SCCOG worked closely with the State of Connecticut on a statewide effort to produce baseline assessments of the initial and on-going impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in all five DEMHS regions. The baseline assessment, completed in February 2021, provides a firm knowledge base to the Region 4 Recovery Steering Committee, SCCOG, seCTer, and municipalities throughout the region (Regional Resilience Baseline Assessment, DEMHS Region 4). CEDS 2023 is informed by and in alignment with the Region 4 baseline assessment, particularly its five key findings.

Appendix M lists the region’s identified brownfield sites as of April 2023.