Each year, the federal government provides significant funding to state and local governments. Those funds, usually in the form of federal grants, awards and assistance agreements, provide funding for all types of programs and services, including but not limited to, water and transportation infrastructure, public safety, environmental improvements and energy efficiency. The federal government places conditions on this type of funding with the goal of making sure federal dollars are spent properly. Those conditions, however, can sometimes create burdens without adding value, and those in Washington are taking note.
The American Recovery Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are recent Congressional Acts that distributed a number of grants and program funding to local and state governments throughout the United States. Centralina Regional Council has assisted several of our member governments in securing these funds and helping with follow-up reporting. Our collaborative work has allowed us to observe and analyze patterns in our region and opportunities to address gaps and discrepancies going forward.
Three major pieces of recently-passed legislation, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act, together provided more than $2 trillion in new federal spending. With so many funding streams available, and some only for a limited time, it is critical to develop a grants strategy. A thoughtful strategy will maximize your ability to apply for relevant grants, while preventing squandering resources on less pertinent programs.
Southeast Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC) is an economic development partnership agency whose mission is “to build sustainable communities and strengthen economic growth across the Southeast Region.” Member governments across the Centralina region are some of the hundreds of counties and municipalities who can benefit from grant opportunities offered through the commission.