On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that it has updated its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Content Guidelines to help communities across America maximize their ability to attract investment to Opportunity Zones.
These new recommendations outline how communities can further promote the economic attractiveness of their region by emphasizing Opportunity Zones as key investment ready locations.
EDA’s CEDS is a regionally-owned, collaborative planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It also serves as a vehicle for local governments, institutes of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation about what efforts could drive economic development in the region.
The inherently regional focus of the CEDS therefore provides a unique platform to capture and promote the advantages of Opportunity Zone communities.
To better position themselves for investment through Opportunity Zones, communities need to have a strong economic development plan in place that can send a signal to the private sector that the area has established a clear vision for the future, identified its important assets and challenges, and engaged key stakeholders.