Delta Regional Authority (DRA)
Grants to Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee nonprofit organizations, public bodies, and government agencies to support economic development throughout the Delta region. Applicants must contact the appropriate local officer in developing an application.
The Delta Regional Authority works to improve regional economic opportunities by helping to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people who reside in the 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region. Led by the Delta Regional Authority Board-comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, Chris Caldwell, who was appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2017, and the governors of the eight states-the Delta Regional Authority fosters local and regional partnerships that address economic challenges to ultimately strengthen the Delta economy and the quality of life for Delta residents.
Established by Congress in 2000, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments with its federal appropriations into the physical, digital and workforce assets of Delta communities. In fact, since its initial investment cycle in 2002, DRA has invested more than $185 million into 1150 projects including $3.5 billion in other public and private investments. These investments are helping to yield:
-55,668 total jobs being created and retained;
-375,028 total families accessing safe water and/or sewer services; and
-46,202 total individuals being trained for jobs in their area.
Through the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program, referred to as SEDAP, these investments help to improve:
-Basic public infrastructure
-Business development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship; and
The 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority make up one of the most distressed areas of the country. As such, “Economic Development” directs and guides the decision-making process for SEDAP investments in the region. For the purposes of this program, Economic Development shall be defined as:
Federal Priority Criteria:
In order to elevate any project to “priority” status, applicants must also clearly demonstrate how the project would meet at least one of the Federal Priority Eligibility Criteria (described below), at least one of the DRA Regional Development Plan goals, and at least one of the State’s DRA Strategic Plan priorities.
-Innovation and Small Business: projects include business and industry prospects committed to job creation and/or retention through the execution of a DRA Participation Agreement. This category also includes projects addressing healthy workforce solutions as a component of Business Development which can clearly demonstrate measurable results in health metrics, and improved employment data for a specific employer or business sector.
-Regional Approach: projects providing benefits to constituents in multiple counties or parishes, or multiple municipalities within a single county or parish.
-Multiple Funding Partners: projects that achieve desired outcomes through a collaborative effort with other funding sources, thereby increasing the leverage ratio of DRA dollars to other project dollars. In-kind contributions can be considered leverage.
-Emergency Funding Need: projects must clearly demonstrate with supporting documentation provided by the appropriate state or federal agency, but for the DRA funding, the negative implications of inaction would result in immediate and detrimental health and/or safety issues for the constituents served. This type project will carry the highest priority and also the highest threshold for meeting this guideline.
-Registered Apprenticeship: Projects supporting Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs and sustainable career pathways with partners at the local, regional, and statewide levels will be considered a federal priority.
-Infrastructure: DRA is congressionally mandated to expend 50% of its appropriated SEDAP dollars on Basic Public and Transportation Infrastructure projects. With the new presidential administration, there is an increased emphasis in these two areas. Projects which fall within these categories and include a direct connection to active economic development activities will receive full consideration.
-Broadband Infrastructure: Sustainable, public projects which serve to increase local access to high speed wired or wireless internet will be considered a federal priority.
Regional Development Plan Goals:
An important component of successful applications is alignment with the DRA's regional development goals, objectives, and strategies. A complete listing of the objectives and strategies listed under each of the three goals below can be found in the DRA Regional Development Plan III (RDPIII), updated in April 2016. The following list provides a summary of the RDPIII objectives:
-Goal 1 - Improved Workforce Competitiveness: Advance the productivity and economic competitiveness of the Delta workforce.
-Goal 2 - Strengthened Infrastructure: Strengthen the Delta’s physical, digital, and capital connections to the global economy.
-Goal 3 - Increased Community Capacity: Facilitate local capacity building within Delta communities, organizations, and businesses.
GrantWatch ID#: 183483
Entities that are eligible to apply for DRA funding include:
-State and local governments (state agencies, city and county/parish);
-Public bodies; and
All eligible applicants must be applying for projects that operate in or are serving residents and communities within the 252 counties and parishes of the DRA footprint.
***For-profit entities, while not eligible to apply directly, are a key component of economic development and, in many circumstances, the ultimate beneficiary of the project funding. They can be a partner within a project but cannot serve as the lead applicant for SEDAP funding nor receive federal funding through a pass-through relationship.
***Eligible entities owing any type of federal bad debt are precluded from applying for DRA funding until such time as the federal bad debt is paid in full. Should a scenario arise where a federal bad debt is incurred after a DRA award has been made, any disbursement of grant funds will be swept by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and applied toward the debt. In this circumstance no further DRA funds would be disbursed and the grantee would be responsible for repaying these grant funds to the DRA.
Once deemed eligible, priority for project funding is determined by whether the county or parish is deemed distressed, the Federal Priority Declarations, the DRA Regional Development Plan Goals listed below, and each state’s DRA Strategic Plan Priorities as listed in the state’s economic development plan.
The 2018 SEDAP manual, including eligibility and priority notes, can provide further information for parties interested in applying for funding in the 2018 cycle.
DRA investments shall not be used by or for the following:
-Youth-oriented activities with no direct connection to entrepreneurship or workforce development
-Sub-grants of any type
-Entities involved in ongoing litigation
-Pass-through efforts to support or enhance private property
-Activities which would constitute a conflict of interest or be considered less than an arm’s length transaction
-Projects which do not conform to the project state’s bid, procurement or contract laws
-Private university-led projects or programs
-For-profit entities or individuals
-Marketing or feasibility studies or plans
-Emergency vehicles, equipment or accessories
-Local government facilities or equipment
-Water meters, as a stand-alone project
-Maintenance and/or deferred maintenance projects
-Work performed on private property
-Establishing or supporting educational curriculum
-Seasonal or part-time jobs
-Indirect cost rate in excess of 10%
-Operating costs, as a stand-alone project
-Project administration fees
-Backup generators, as a stand-alone project
-Stipends paid to program participants
-Office equipment or furnishings
The total funding available is $12,079,580, to be allocated as follows:
The 2018 SEDAP Application Cycle opens March 1, 2018 and closes June 29, 2018.
If interested in applying during the 2018 cycle, contact your local development district.
Eligible applicants should work with Local Development District (LDD) offices to prepare and submit applications to the DRA.
Once project applications are received, a review and determination of project eligibility are made, and projects are then divided into Tier 1 and Tier 2 eligible projects or are considered ineligible to receive funding.
Any applicant whose project is found to be ineligible will be allowed to appeal this decision by working with the LDD and/or DRA to provide additional documentation or other supporting documents to address the material issue(s) cited.
-March 1: SEDAP funding opportunity announcement
-March 1 - June 29: Applications are submitted as they are developed. DRA staff will review for eligibility in real-time (within three weeks of receipt) and work with each LDD to provide appropriate appeal documentation for those projects deemed ineligible or Tier 2
-July 18: DRA staff work complete
-July 25: Chairman determines eligibility
-August 8: Board members have met with Governors
-August 15: Project determination calls held
-August 31: Certification letters received and project votes closed
Each state plan is designed to dovetail into the DRA's Regional Development Plan and is reviewed and revised with each new administration or ever five years. Please refer to the state strategic economic development plans here:
Eligibility and Funding Priorities:
Distressed Counties and Parishes:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
If interested in applying during the 2018 cycle, contact your local development district:
Kemp Morgan, Director, Project Development and Management
Amanda Allen, SEDAP Manager
Star Hoskins, Senior Program Specialist
Emanuel Edmond, MPM, Director, Monitoring and Compliance
Charles Buchanan, Director, Finance and Administration
Andy Moreau, Director, Communications/Public Engagement
Delta Regional Authority
236 Sharkey Ave., Ste. 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
P: (662) 624-8600
F: (662) 624-8537
USA: Alabama; Arkansas; Illinois; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; Tennessee