Community Economic Development Month

The Office of Community Services (OCS) is celebrating Community Economic Development in October 2021. Throughout the month, OCS will share how they are supporting community economic development efforts throughout the county and explore a different theme related to community economic development. Check this page every Wednesday throughout October for new updates.

  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Empowering Communities through Access to Capital
  • Strategies for Economic Recovery in Energy Communities
  • Building Resilient Communities in the Face of COVID-19

We look forward to you joining us during this month-long observance, as we collectively work to create resilient communities to help address the needs of our nation’s families. Learn more about OCS’ efforts to support communities and families in need through the Community Economic Development (CED) Program.

To launch Community Economic Development month, OCS is excited to announce the award of $14.6 million in CED program funds to 20 new grants implementing projects across the country. These new grants will create/expand over 35 businesses resulting in the creation of more than 600 new jobs in low-income communities to help improve the livelihood of not only those who obtain the jobs, but also the communities they are located in.

New This Week: Empowering Communities through Access to Capital

Meaningful economic revitalization efforts rely on access to capital and financing. In economically distressed communities, access to capital empowers businesses to be created and expanded, provides more employment opportunities, and increases local revenue in communities. Often, businesses in these communities are not able to get capital from financial institutions will not invest due to the risk. This is why federal programs, like the CED program, that invest in communities and provide financing to fuel economic revitalization efforts are critical.  

CED projects can support business’s access to capital by funding start-up or expansion costs, providing a low-interest loan, or having equity in businesses. A partnership with a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Visit disclaimer page can offer tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital. Through partnership with additional financial resources, the impact of community development can be even greater.

For individuals and families, access to capital supports their paths to self-sufficiency by providing access to food, shelter, and other necessities. Living wages are a key component of self-sufficiency. Access is to capital alone is not enough for many people, they can be further supported through financial empowerment. Financial empowerment having the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make money choices that help you reach your personal and financial goals. CED grantees can provide financial empowerment for employees of their supported businesses by providing financial literacy training and resources to support their financial well-being.  

The following resources empower individuals, families, businesses, and communities to access and utilize capital for community development and economic self-sufficiency. View all CED tools for supporting businesses and employees.

Capital Readiness Tool


The tool includes that a list of reading materials and a set of interactive modules that allow you to assess your business’s financial readiness. The second section is a lending reference guide. This guide sheds light on the typical application process, while highlighting items you will need to prepare during due diligence. It also provides a list of certified SBA Lenders, CDFIs, and other valuable resources.

If you would like to access the tool, email

Financial Empowerment for the Workplace Guide

Cover page of Financial Empowerment for the Workplance guide

Leveraging CDFIs to Create Quality Jobs Resource

Leveraging CDFIs to Create Quality Jobs and Fight Income Inequality Screenshot

Call to Action

Contact your local newspaper to share a story on one of your projects and its impact on the community.

#CEDMonth #OCS

Post on your organization's social media about how your work creates jobs and supports the local economy. Use hashtags #CEDMonth and #OCS.

Get Involved in CED Month!

Equity and Inclusion

Equity and inclusion are critical components in every community economic development framework. For a community to thrive, it is important to meet communities where they are and distribute resources and opportunities to facilitate equal outcomes for all community residents. Individuals may face barriers to self-sufficiency, such as unemployment, homelessness, lack of education, and substance abuse issues, which may prevent individuals from obtaining and keeping a job. Providing support services to help individuals overcome these barriers and obtain jobs can play a key role in helping individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Check out the work our CED grantees are doing to remove barriers to employment and support equity and inclusion in their communities.

Current as of: