13 CFR § 303.7 - Requirements for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies.
(a) General. CEDS are designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen Regional economies. The CEDS should analyze the Regional economy and serve as a guide for establishing Regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a Regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. Public and private sector partnerships are critical to the implementation of the integral elements of a CEDS set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. As a performance-based plan, the CEDS will serve a critical role in a Region's efforts to defend against economic dislocations due to global trade, competition and other events resulting in the loss of jobs and private investment.
(b) Strategy requirements.
(1) A CEDS must be the result of a continuing economic development planning process, developed with broad-based and diverse public and private sector participation. Consistent with section 302 of PWEDA, each CEDS must promote Regional resiliency and be unique and responsive to the relevant Region. Each CEDS must include:
(i) A summary of economic development conditions of the Region;
(ii) An in-depth analysis of economic and community development strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (commonly known as a “SWOT” analysis);
(iii) Strategies and an implementation plan to build upon the Region's strengths and opportunities and resolve the weaknesses and threats facing the Region, which should not be inconsistent with applicable State and local economic development or workforce development strategies; and
(iv) Performance measures used to evaluate the Planning Organization's successful development and implementation of the CEDS.
(2) EDA will publish and periodically update specific CEDS content guidelines.
(c) Consideration of non-EDA funded CEDS.
(1) In determining the acceptability of a CEDS prepared independently of EDA Investment Assistance or oversight for Projects under parts 305 and 307 of this chapter, EDA may in its discretion determine that the CEDS is acceptable so long as it includes all of the elements listed in paragraph (b) of this section. In certain circumstances, EDA may accept a non-EDA funded CEDS that does not contain all the elements listed in paragraph (b) of this section. In doing so, EDA shall consider the circumstances surrounding the application for Investment Assistance, including emergencies or natural disasters and the fulfillment of the requirements of section 302 of PWEDA.
(2) If the CEDS for a Project under parts 305 and 307 of this chapter is developed under another federally-supported program, it must include acceptable performance measures similar to those set forth in paragraph (b) of this section and information on the state of the Regional economy. To the maximum extent practicable, the CEDS shall be consistent and coordinated with any existing economic development plan for the Region.