March 28, 2012

After Natural Disasters Hit Nearly Three-Quarters of New York’s 62 Counties Last Year, Gillibrand Announces More Than $50 Million That Local Communities Can Now Apply for to Assist with Their Economic Recovery

Senator Urged Community Leaders Across The State To Apply For EDA Funds For Long-term Development And Redevelopment

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $53,735,000 is now available for New York communities affected by natural disasters to apply for from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Counties that have received major disaster declarations in the past year will be eligible for the funding designated for long-term strategic planning, infrastructure development and capital for alternative financing. 

“Nearly three quarters of the New York’s 62 counties were affected by natural disasters this past year,” Senator Gillibrand said. “America has always stood by those suffering from disaster and helped them to rebuild. We have an obligation to help these families and communities rebuild today. Across New York, no one can question the devastation storms have left on our agriculture sector, small businesses, and communities. This funding can go a long way in helping our communities rebuild for the long term.” 

EDA’s Funding supports the long-term implementation of economic recovery and redevelopment projects in the wake of a disaster. The $53 million from the EDA is available to the entire northeast region and will be competed for among 13 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. New York State, individual counties and municipalities, economic development districts and Native American tribes, as well as higher education institutions and non-profit organizations working in coordination with government are eligible to apply.

To apply for this EDA funding, you can find EDA’s Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for these funds on www.grants.gov (Funding Opportunity Number: EDAFY12DISASTERRELIEF) or call the EDA at 215-597-4603. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but interested applicants are encouraged to submit proposals as soon as possible.

Senator Gillibrand is sending a letter to New York community leaders encouraging applications for EDA funding: 

Dear Community Leaders, 

In the 2012 budget, Congress passed a series of appropriations bills that provides approximately $2.6 billion in disaster recovery funds to help communities across the country.  Of these funds, Congress provided the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) with $200 million in disaster recovery funding, of which New York is eligible to compete for up to just over $53 million.

EDA’s funding supports long-term economic recovery in the wake of a disaster. Although not a “first responder,” EDA has the unique role of facilitating delivery of Federal economic development assistance to local governments for long-term community recovery planning, reconstruction, redevelopment, and resiliency. EDA provides financial resources and technical assistance to help rebuild economies following a disaster that foster economic development to retain or attract jobs to the region.

EDA assists disaster-impacted communities in following ways:

  1. 1.      Strategic Planning: EDA offers financial resources and technical assistance to help rebuild economic development plans following a disaster.
  2. 2.      Infrastructure Development: EDA awards grant to fund construction of new infrastructure (e.g. business incubators, technology parks, research facilities, basic utilities such as water treatment) that foster economic development to retain or attract jobs to the region.
  3. 3.      Capital for Alternative Financing: Through EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program, non-profit and governmental entities can apply to establish an RLF which in turn makes below market-rate loans to businesses to help recovery. 

EDA recognizes that urgent infrastructure rebuilding needs exist throughout New York State’s disaster-affected regions. In EDA’s experience with post-disaster recovery, the most effective long-term infrastructure rebuilding efforts are based on a long-term development or redevelopment strategy, established either before or after the disaster. For this reason, EDA encourages the submission of applications geared to the development and implementation of long-term, regionally-based, collaborative economic redevelopment strategies. Counties that have received major disaster declarations in the past year are eligible for this funding, including the following New York State counties: Albany, Alleghany, Bronx, Broome, Chemung, Chenago, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Kings, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselear, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Steuban, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Westchester, Wyoming, and Yates.

State and local governments, non-profit organizations, district planning organizations, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes are all eligible to apply. All EDA funding, including disaster recovery assistance, is highly competitive. EDA’s staff is available to advise communities on how the agency may be able to help to advance your community’s continuing economic recovery efforts. You can find EDA’s Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for these funds on www.grants.gov (Funding Opportunity Number: EDAFY12DISASTERRELIEF) in order to begin evaluating whether you should apply. If you are interested in learning more about how EDA can help, I encourage you to contact their Philadelphia Regional Office at 215-597-4603 as soon as possible and also see the agency’s website at www.eda.gov for more information on their programs. In addition, please be in touch with my staff member Jon Cardinal at (202) 224-4451 to request support for applications you submit for this funding or if you have any questions or problems my office can assist with.