Planning & Strategic Development
The Economic Workforce Development Division provides ongoing assistance to cities and counties with economic development and strategic planning initiatives. SMPDD assembles Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region every five years. While the CEDS is a regional economic development plan for 15 counties and 38 municipalities, it can serve as a framework for local initiatives as well as help communities assess and prioritize their needs, set their goals and implement a plan of action. SMPDD can also customize strategic planning for a specific jurisdiction.
Planning services provided by SMPDD include:
- Comprehensive plans
- Hazard mitigation plans
- Land use surveys
- Building inventories
- Capital improvement plans
- Customized surveys
- Downtown Development Plans
- Revitalization Incentive Program
Project Development and Packaging
Communities that are successful in economic development know how to work together, form strategic partnerships and leverage funding resources. SMPDD can serve as a coordinator to bring those partners together, whether it be multiple jurisdictions, state agencies, federal agencies, educational institutions or private businesses. The Economic Workforce Development Division staff can assist in identifying these partners and resources. SMPDD is available to help communities and other economic development agencies respond to site selection requests, prepare for prospect visits and determine target industries. With seasoned economic development professionals, SMPDD can provide valuable insight when creating, packaging, and financing economic development projects.
Grant Application and Grant Administration
Preparing grant applications and managing grant-funded projects involves regulations that often are beyond the staff and resource capacity of local governments. SMPDD has many years of experience in writing grants for local governments and in administering and complying with regulations throughout the life of a grant.
SMPDD acts as an agent of the recipient Usually on a contract basis paid out of the proceeds of the funding, SMPDD will set up and maintain the required records, reports and procedures. SMPDD also will provide the oversight necessary to ensure proper coordination and project execution.
Typical responsibilities include:
- Financial management
- Construction management and labor compliance
- Equal employment and other civil rights requirements
- Any other conditions required by the federal or state funding source.
SMPDD serves as the official liaison with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the Delta Regional Authority. While not limited to the following, the Economic Development staff has been successful in identifying, obtaining and administering grants from:
- Mississippi Development Authority — CDBG Grants, DIP Grants, Rural Impact Grants, Small Municipalities and Limited Population Government Grants
- USDA, Rural Development Grants — RBEG, RBOG
- MEMA/FEMA Grants – Disaster and hazard mitigation funding opportunities
- Economic Development Administration (EDA) — Construction/infrastructure grants; planning grants
- Delta Regional Authority — Construction/infrastructure grants
These resources have been used for infrastructure improvements, upgrades in fire protection, construction of new public facilities and other community and economic development projects.