The Economic Development Corporation receives an $80,000 grant

Grant to be used to update the San Benito County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2023-2028.

Information provided by the Economic Development Administration

The Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County announced that it has received an $80,000 grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration to prepare an updated San Benito County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2023-2028 .

The release states that the comprehensive economic development strategy is a strategy-driven plan that contributes to the effective economic development of communities and regions through a local and regional economic development planning process that engages economic agencies, community leaders, educators and the public. , private and non-profit organizations to engage in meaningful conversation and debate about what would best serve economic development in their region to establish a strategic economic development “road map” for regional collaboration and prosperity.

He went on to state that each region’s comprehensive economic development strategy must be updated every five years to be eligible for federal funding through the Economic Development Administration and that this update for 2023 -2028 will align San Benito County, Hollister and San Juan Bautista, and nonprofits in the region around priorities and projects that are important to the community, such as broadband, water storage , manpower training and fire resistance, which would not have been considered for funding had they not been included in the overall Economic Development Strategy 2023-2028.

“This funding is the first step for our community to proactively address some of the challenges we face as a region and build on our strengths and harness our energy to improve our economic and community resilience,” said Renee Wells, executive director of the San Benito County Economic Development Corporation. “The strategy we are developing will serve as a bridge that connects funding at the federal level to much-needed projects at our local level.

The release says there is a tremendous amount of federal funding available from the Economic Development Administration (see list below), and that the San Benito Economic Development Corporation is pleased to be part of this effort. important to help facilitate these grants using the updated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy as the city and county recently announced that they have contracted a grant writer to help them apply for grants.

To develop a comprehensive and concise economic development strategy, the San Benito Economic Development Corporation will contract two consultants who bring many years of experience and expertise to the effort – Marie Jones of Marie Jones Consulting and Steve Wahlstrom of Wahlstrom & Associates, the release said.

“We look forward to working with the people of San Benito County to identify priorities and help access federal funding to achieve those priorities,” said Marie Jones. “I also live and work in a rural county that borders the Bay Area, and I look forward to working with the community to develop a strong collaboration of people who will help move San Benito County in the best direction. “

In addition to the $80,000 received from the Economic Development Administration, the San Benito County Economic Development Corporation contributed $15,000 ($10,000 in-kind staff support; $5,000 cash) and received an $8,000 contribution from San Juan Bautista to support this effort.

Assisting in the release over the next 6-7 month period, consultants will work with the San Benito County Economic Development Corporation and a committee comprised of key economic interests from Hollister, San Juan Bautista and the County of San Benito to develop a comprehensive, viable economic development strategy that will create a strong sense of regional cooperation and partnerships between local businesses and government.

List of Economic Development Administration funding programs:

US rescue plan

  • Six programs, collectively called “Investing in American Communities,” aim to fairly invest the $3 billion the Economic Development Administration received from President Joe Biden’s U.S. bailout. The programs aim to support communities in their efforts to “build back better” by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will withstand future economic shocks.

Scale build program

  • The Build to Scale program aims to build regional economies through scalable startups and includes three competitions supporting entrepreneurship, accelerated business growth, and increased access to venture capital in regional economies.

Economic adjustment program

  • Economic Adjustment Program funding helps states and local interests design and implement strategies to adjust or make changes to an economy. The program focuses on areas that have suffered or are threatened with severe structural damage to the underlying economic base. The funds are administered under the Revolving Loan Fund program, which provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with the boost financing needed to start or grow their business.

Economic Recovery Corps

  • The Economic Recovery Corps program consists of a network of Economic Recovery Corps fellows to add human capital to local organizations focused on improving economic resilience and competitiveness in struggling regions of the country.

Social Impact Investment Program

  • The Equity Impact Investments program provides technical assistance to enable organizations serving underserved populations and communities to participate in economic development planning and projects.

Local technical support

  • Local Technical Assistance Program helps fill knowledge and information gaps that can prevent public and nonprofit sector leaders in troubled areas from making optimal decisions on local economic development issues .

Public works program

  • The public works program aims to empower struggling communities to revitalize, expand and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industries, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies and generate or retain income. jobs and long-term investments in the private sector.

Planning program

  • The planning program supports local organizations in their short- and long-term planning efforts, such as developing a comprehensive regional economic development strategy.