After carefully exploring the feasibility and desirability of pursuing Economic Development District status, BRPC has applied for EDD designation on behalf of Berkshire County. The primary purpose of an EDD is to implement the economic development activities and priorities set forth in the region’s CEDS. Berkshire County’s most recent 5-year CEDS was certified in late 2017.
Economic Development Districts are designated by the Economic Development Administration, a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce. One of the few regions remaining in Massachusetts without this designation, Berkshire County stands to benefit from EDD status through increased access to regional economic development funds as well as public works assistance grants for individual municipalities.
A number of requirements must be met before an Economic Development District application can be approved, including: a) the region must be of sufficient geographic size, b) the geographic area must contain at least one economically distressed area as defined by the EDA, c) the region must have an EDA approved CEDS, d) the application must have the support of at least ½ of the municipalities within the proposed district, and e) the application must obtain the concurrence of the state/commonwealth in which it is located.