Delta Regional Authority
May 10, 2016  
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Weekly News Round-up

In this Issue: Application cycle open for FY 2016 funding | RFP for entrepreneurship ecosystem mapping
Regional Development Plan III released | National Small Business Week Twitter town hall

This week is National Economic Development Week...celebrate using hashtag #EconDevWeek!

Application cycles now open for SEDAP and new infrastructure fund

DRA launched the 2016 application cycle for $20 million of investments through its States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP) and a new funding program, the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), to better support the local infrastructure, workforce, and small businesses of Delta communities. 

SEDAP, the primary investment tool for DRA, is entering its fifteenth cycle of funding and makes available more than $10 million for basic public infrastructure, workforce development, transportation infrastructure, and small business and entrepreneurship development in Delta communities. Organizations and communities interested in applying can learn more and begin their application at dra.gov/sedap.

The DRA is also launching the Community Infrastructure Fund to invest an additional $10 million in flood control, basic public infrastructure, and local transportation improvements that provide local and regional value to Delta communities. Learn more at dra.gov/funding-programs.

Read the full release >

RFP released for regional mapping project to identify existing small business resources across region

Announced from the retail and work space of one of the DEN's inaugural fellows, Sloan+Themis, DRA is seeking proposals for a mapping and research project that will connect Delta small business owners and entrepreneurs with the resources, support organizations, and tools that will help them grow their businesses.

The Delta Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Mapping project will produce a comprehensive map of resources and a report on those resources, including the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the ecosystem to be used by DRA, Delta communities, and states to guide further programming for and investment into entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Proposals will be accepted through June 3, 2016. The RFP can be downloaded at dra.gov/smallbiz. DRA staff will host a webinar on Thursday, May 12 at 10:00 am CT to walk through the RFP's language and technical components. Register for the webinar here.

Read the full release >

Third regional development plan, state plans provide vision for Delta over next five years

The DRA has updated its Regional Development Plan, which serves as the strategic plan for the agency and outlines clear goals for the region’s economic development. RDPIII, the third such plan written since the agency’s creation, will guide the agency’s investments, policy priorities, and stakeholder engagement for the next five years. With the guiding principles of collaboration, leadership, and innovation, the plan identifies the agency’s goals for the next five years:

  • Improving workforce competitiveness;
  • Strengthening infrastructure; and
  • Increasing community capacity.

Each state creates their own state-specific plan that aligns closely with the RDPIII but also incorporates state priorities and opportunities based on existing economic development strategies. The RDPIII was developed over the course of the past year, utilizing in-person, digital, and written feedback from nearly 1,000 stakeholders within the Delta region.

Download RDPIII and each state's development plan >

National Small Business Week recognizes power of small businesses, continued needs

Last week during National Small Business Week, DRA joined SBA and other advocates and supporters of small businesses in celebrating the contributions of our region's small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

DRA held a Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday in collaboration with the Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University. With the topic of "Barriers to Entrepreneurial Success in the Delta," DRA chairmen Chris Masingill and Mike Marshall hosted a conversation that highlighted stronger peer networks, more data and insight, better access to existing resources, and mentorship as important steps to breaking down existing barriers.

Also, watch the "Dream Big, Start Small" NSBW 2016 highlight video to see many of SBA's activities around the country to celebrate and provide further support for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Read the full conversation and contribute with #DeltaSmallBiz >

Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund becomes 4th RBIC at ROI Conference

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the launch of a new private investment fund with the potential to inject $100 million into small food and agriculture businesses across rural America. The fund, known as the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, will be the fourth Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) that USDA has helped to create since 2014, and is part of USDA's ongoing efforts to help attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America to help drive more economic growth in rural communities.

Open Prairie is directed by Pat Morand, who served as a judge for the DEN showcase, and was founded by Jim Schulz, director of Illinois' Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity who was an active participant in the Rural Opportunity Investment conference that DRA hosted in Memphis in January 2016, which brought businesses and financial institutions, senior government officials, and rural economic development experts together to discuss potential partnerships that will invest in our rural communities. The ROI effort continues and held its most recent convening in DC last Tuesday, when the new RBIC was announced. 

Read the full release from USDA >

Upcoming Events:

Register or Apply Today

May 9, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- El Dorado, Arkansas
regonline.com/EDresilience-AR3
May 12, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
regonline.com/EDresilience-LA4
May 17, 2016
Quarterly Board Meeting - FY16 Q3
May 23, 2016
ECRC Training on Economic Development- Gilbertsville, Kentucky
regonline.com/EDresilience-KY2
June 1, 2016
Innovative Readiness Training: Greyhound Medical
Learn more at dra.gov/irt
June 6, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Gilberstville, Kentucky
regonline.com/EDresilience-KY3
June 9, 2016
ECRC Training on Disaster Recovery- Red Bud, Illinois
regonline.com/EDresilience-IL4

Click Here To Submit An Event

Announcements From Our Partners:

Delta Regional Authority

236 Sharkey Avenue - Suite 400
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662) 624-8600 | DRA.GOV

 
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