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Using IMPLAN in Your EDA Grant Application and Beyond

Learn how to show your project's ripple effect with Input/Output models.

November 30, 2021 by Chandler West

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the only federal agency focused exclusively on facilitating job growth and building resilient regional economies across the United States. The EDA offers a variety of funding opportunities for economic development projects. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding under the American Rescue Plan, allowing them to offer even larger and more transformational investments across the country.

When applying for a grant from the EDA on behalf of your organization, you can expect to be asked to estimate the number of jobs and private investment you expect the project to generate. EDA grant applications ask you to indicate the source of your estimates, and even note Input/Output models -- and IMPLAN in particular -- as useful options. Let’s take a closer look at how IMPLAN can be used to improve your EDA grant application and even help you win more financial support for your organization’s project.

Amplifying Your Numbers

Through its grant application process, the EDA seeks to identify projects that “effectively address the creation and/or retention of high-quality jobs.” You can learn more about the EDA’s investment priorities here. It is evident that your project’s estimated jobs number has a big impact on whether you’re offered funding and how much, so a great deal of care needs to be taken on this part of the application.

A big mistake that EDA grant applicants often make is to only look at the direct number of jobs created by a project -- in other words, how many people they plan to hire -- rather than also considering the project’s ripple effect throughout the region. By making this mistake, you’re selling yourself short! Your project is likely to support many businesses throughout the community, both in terms of economic actions taken as a part of the project (construction, purchase of supplies, etc.) and in terms of employee spending.

That’s where IMPLAN comes in, offering the data and software you need to accurately amplify your numbers. Our economic impact analyses estimate the ripple effects that a change in a given industry’s activity has on interdependent industries. Economic impact totals include the economic activity of the analyzed industry, the businesses supported in their supply chain, and the effect of the household spending of labor income earned in each layer of the activity.

The consequences of not calculating these numbers in software to find indirect and induced jobs can be dire. While only including the jobs created directly by your project might be the “free” option, it severely limits the funding you will be offered, and could take your project out of the running entirely.

Cracking the Code for Grants

EDA grant applications can be overwhelming at first, but with the right tools, you can master the process. The team at IMPLAN is here to help you as you crack the grant-writing code to unlock your project’s full potential -- and to demonstrate it to the agencies that can provide the funding your organization needs to bring its plans to fruition.

 Currently, the EDA has published the following funding opportunities:

  • Economic Adjustment Assistance
  • Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge
  • Statewide Planning, Research and Networks
  • Good Jobs Challenge

IMPLAN can help you illustrate your project’s impact as you apply for these grants and so many more -- even beyond the sphere of the EDA.

If you’re interested in learning more about how IMPLAN can be your ace-in-the-hole for compelling grant applications, contact our team today to request a demo.

Ready to make an impact? Book an IMPLAN demo today!


Put simply, IMPLAN is built for everyone.

Together, our software and data give you a window into your region of study — like one gigantic transaction log for the local economy. Chances are that if your project or business has a financial component, then IMPLAN can reveal some sometimes surprising detail about how your project relates to the local, state, or national economy.

What used to take economists weeks can be done in minutes. By anyone!

But you're not alone, IMPLAN's best benefits go beyond the work done in the tool:

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Outstanding customer support
  • Access to orientations, trainings, and project consultations
  • Instills confidence in your analyses

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