Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Community Services
 
Community Economic Development Projects
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
Application Due Date: 07/03/2020
Due Date for Applications:

FY 2020: 07/03/2020

FY 2021: 04/23/2021

FY 2022: 04/22/2022

 

 

 
Community Economic Development Projects
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
    1. Overview
    2. Executive Summary
    1. Program Description
    2. Federal Award Information
    3. Eligibility Information
      1. Eligible Applicants
      2. Cost Sharing or Matching
      3. Other
    4. Application and Submission Information
      1. Address to Request Application Package
      2. Content and Form of Application Submission
      3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management
        (SAM)
      4. Submission Dates and Times
      5. Intergovernmental Review
      6. Funding Restrictions
      7. Other Submission Requirements
    5. Application Review Information
      1. Criteria
      2. Review and Selection Process
      3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates
    6. Federal Award Administration Information
      1. Federal Award Notices
      2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
      3. Reporting
    7. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)
    8. Other Information
 
 
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
Community Economic Development Projects
ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Funding Opportunity Title:Community Economic Development Projects
Announcement Type:Initial
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
Primary CFDA Number: 93.570
Due Date for Applications: 07/03/2020
 
Due Date for Applications:

FY 2020: 07/03/2020

FY 2021: 04/23/2021

FY 2022: 04/22/2022

 

 

 
Executive Summary

Notice: 

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire funding opportunity announcement (FOA) carefully and observe the application formatting requirements listed in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission. For more information on applying for grants, please visit "How to Apply for a Grant" on the ACF Grants & Funding Page at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Community and Economic Development (CED) program, administered by the Office of Community Services (OCS) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), will provide up to $13.6 million in grants ($800,000 maximum per project) to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of individuals and families with  low income, through the creation of employment and business opportunities.

The CED program seeks to fund projects that address the personal and community barriers that must be overcome to help individuals with low incomes become self-sufficient. Funds can be used for costs associated with participating business start-up or expansion activities, as consistent with the cost principles found at 45 CFR Part 75, Subpart E, provided that the expenditures result in the creation of positions that can be filled with individuals with low incomes. OCS recognizes that many businesses supported with CED funds in the past have been put in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the purposes of this FOA, job creation efforts include the re-creation or restoration of full-time, full-year positions that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The training and placement of individuals in positions existing prior to the start of the project, even positions guaranteed to individuals with low incomes through a formal agreement with an employer, is not considered job creation. The flexibilities involving the COVID-19 pandemic are only applicable for the FY 2020 FOA.

For FY 2020, ACF will prioritize applications from rural areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment, substance use disorder and areas designated as Opportunity Zones. Priority will be provided in the form of bonus points.

This is a standing FOA. It will be effective until canceled or changed by the Director of OCS.

I. Program Description

Statutory Authority

Section 680(a)(2) of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 9921(a)(2), authorizes the HHS Secretary to make grants on a competitive basis to private, nonprofit organizations that are CDCs to provide technical and financial assistance for economic development activities designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families by creating employment and business development opportunities.

The CED authority for construction and renovation is through annual appropriations, and the most recent language is located at Division A, Title II of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Educations, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020 and Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Pub. L. 116-94.

Description

The CED program provides funding for projects aimed at business development opportunities and creating employment for individuals with low incomes located in geographic areas with a demonstrated need for the proposed project. To accomplish this, the program requires that all created businesses and positions support a service area with unemployment and poverty rates that are at or above the state or national levels. The CED program also seeks to fund projects that address the personal and community barriers that must be overcome to help individuals with low incomes become self-sufficient.

PROGRAM GOALS

The CED program is built on the premise that nonprofit CDCs know their communities and are poised to efficiently and effectively create new community economic development projects in their communities. The objective of the program is to support businesses that develop new products, services, and commercial activities that result in new positions for individuals with low incomes. These positions should: 

  • Be ready to implement at the time of award;
  • Lead to increased self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income;
  • Create businesses and jobs in low-income communities that improve the livelihood of not only those who obtain those jobs but also the community itself; and
  • Attract additional public and private funds to increase investment and quality of life in low-income communities. 
NON-CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

CED-funded projects can be non-construction projects that are ready to be implemented at the time of the grant award and completed during the assigned project period. The grant period for non-construction projects is 3 years. It is expected that all non-construction projects support participating business expansion/creation and job creation be completed and CED funds expended within the 3-year project period. Changes in direction in the final year of a project are discouraged. Applicants distinguish projects that are ready to implement at the time of award as projects with evidence in the application such as lending guidelines, sample loan agreements, commitment from identified participating businesses, etc.

Non-construction projects involve limited construction, or alteration and renovation, costing $150,000 or less to support participating business creation, expansion, and/or job creation. Non-construction projects typically involve a loan(s) or equity investment(s) in participating business(es).

Business plans for CED projects that demonstrate they are ready to implement must include a realistic project plan with the following key elements: 

  1. A timeline that clearly demonstrates that the proposed project will be completed and all CED funding expended within the proposed grant period.
  2. A plan demonstrating that CED funds will be managed consistent with applicable federal regulations, including 45 CFR Parts 75.302 (Financial management and standards for financial management systems) and 75.322 (Intangible property and copyrights), whereas grantees must have control over and accountability for all funds, property, and other assets.
  3. A proposal demonstrating how grantees will support participating business creation/expansion and job creation. 

Applicants proposing non-construction projects must propose to create at least a minimum number jobs using the following formula:

Non-Construction Projects: [Total Amount of Federal CED Funds Awarded] divided by [$20,000] = [Minimum Number of Jobs to be Created].

For example, if a grantee is awarded $800,000 in federal CED funds, it must use that money to conduct activities that will create at least 40 jobs ($800,000 ÷ $20,000 = 40). For a table with examples of the minimum number of jobs based on specific award amounts, see Appendix A: Sample Chart of Jobs Created at the end of this FOA. Note: An applicant's score will not increase by proposing jobs above the required minimum. 

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

CED-funded projects can be construction projects that are ready to be implemented at the time of the grant award and completed during the assigned project period. The grant period for construction projects is 5 years. It is expected that all projects are completed and CED funds expended within the 5-year grant period, and changes in direction in the final year of a project are discouraged.

Construction projects involve construction, or alteration and renovation, exceeding $150,000. Construction projects typically include commercial real estate for lease or use by the gamut of small- and large-scale business operations. The CED program permits facility construction, as needed, to support participating business creation, expansion, and/or job creation. 

Business plans for CED construction projects must include a realistic project plan with the following key elements: 

  1. A timeline that clearly demonstrates that the proposed construction project will be completed and all CED funding expended within the proposed grant period.
  2. A plan demonstrating that CED funds will be managed consistent with applicable federal regulations including 45 CFR Parts 75.302, 75.316, 75.317, 75.318, 75.320, 75.322, and 75.343, whereas grantees must have control over and accountability for all funds, property, and other assets.
  3. A proposal demonstrating how grantees will use the property for the originally authorized purpose and will not encumber the property without prior approval from ACF. Please note that any encumbrance, (e.g., new financing, refinancing, or extensions of existing loans) with or without a subordination, requires deviation prior approval by the ACF Chief Grants Management Officer before federal funds are used for these purposes.  This may delay the facility project. 
  4. Evidence that grantees are ready to begin construction upon award, by including contracts or other third-party agreements with parties involved in the construction.   
  5. A proposal demonstrating how grantees will support participating business creation/expansion and job creation.

Applicants proposing construction projects must propose to create at least a minimum number of jobs using the following formula:

Construction Projects: [Total Amount of Federal CED Funds Awarded] divided by [$25,000] = [Minimum Number of Jobs to be Created].

For example, if a grantee is awarded $800,000 in federal CED funds, it must use that money to conduct activities that will create at least 32 jobs ($800,000 ÷$25,000 = 32). For a table with examples of the minimum number of jobs based on specific award amounts, see Appendix A: Sample Chart of Jobs Created at the end of this FOA. Note: An applicant's score will not increase by proposing jobs above the required minimum.

Note: For the purpose of this FOA, any project with construction activities will be considered a “construction project.” However, prospective applicants are urged to read the federal requirements related to “real property” in this FOA carefully, as those apply to all projects where CED funds are used for construction activities. It is important to note that short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for participating business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program, as they are designed to be temporary.

For ACF property-related policy and guidance, please refer to the ACF website at  https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/grant​s​/real​-prope​rty​-and​-tangi​ble​-perso​nal​-prope​rty​

GENERAL PROGRAM ELEMENTS

Regardless of the type of project, financial documents must show that all necessary financing is in place and not contingent upon other financing sources, and that signed agreements are in place with the first identified borrower or investment and other project partner(s).

Additionally, CED projects are expected to demonstrate that the project budget includes all CED and non-CED funds needed to implement the project and result in the successful creation of jobs, as outlined in the proposed application. When non-CED financing is required to fully implement the project, evidence must be provided that all capital requirements have been met through financing, cash resources, or in-kind contributions. Additionally, program income, as defined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Budget and Budget Justification, may be used to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the project.

However, since CED projects should be ready for implementation at the time of the award, future program income cannot be used to meet the non-CED funding needs for project implementation.

While the focus of the program is on the creation of jobs for individuals with low incomes, as defined by the poverty guidelines published annually by HHS at http​://aspe​.hhs​.gov​/pover​t​ y/index​.shtml​, ACF does not expect that 100 percent of the created jobs will necessarily be filled by individuals with low incomes. Often when a business is created or expanded, there is a need to hire high-level managers or other content experts with unique skills and/or experiences that may be more difficult to identify and recruit. For this reason, ACF only requires that a minimum of 75 percent of the newly created jobs be filled by individuals with low incomes. ACF also expects that these jobs will support individuals with low incomes in achieving self-sufficiency, through wages, benefits, and opportunities for career growth.

Note:  Per the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pub. L. 116-136, for FY 2020 purposes of this FOA, “low-income” will be defined as an individual whose household income level does not exceed 200 percent of the official poverty guidelines, as found in the most recent revision of the HHS Poverty Guidelines published by HHS at https​://aspe​.hhs​.gov​/pover​ty​-guide​lines​.

ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

CED funds may be used for the start-up or expansion activities of participating businesses, as consistent with the cost principles, as implemented in 45 CFR Part 75, Subpart E, provided that the expenditures result in the creation of positions that can be filled with individuals with low incomes. This includes start-up capital for operating expenses, such as salaries, facilities, and equipment that will be replaced by projected earnings. Further, OCS recognizes that many businesses supported with CED funds in the past have been put in jeopardy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the purposes of this FOA, job creation efforts include the re-creation or restoration of full-time, full-year positions that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities are only applicable for the FY 2020 funding opportunity announcement. The training and placement of individuals in positions existing prior to the start of the project, even positions guaranteed to individuals with low incomes through a formal agreement with an employer, is not considered job creation.

Many projects use grant funds to provide loans to identified, viable, participating businesses, and/or as an equity or stock investment. Regarding the equity/stock investment, grantees can convey grant funds to third parties to help finance participating businesses creating jobs for eligible program participants. In exchange for a percentage ownership (via stock purchase or equity) specified in a third-party agreement (contract), a participating business receives cash needed to buy, start, or expand a business, provided they agree to specified CED program terms and conditions, including reporting jobs and other benefits to grantees. If there is no third-party business and the grantee is the sole owner of the business creating jobs, funds are typically conveyed to the grantee’s for-profit subsidiary via a loan or purchase of 100 percent of the stock in the participating business. Grant funds can be used to support one or multiple project strategies. However, evidence that identifies the necessity is required for each strategy used. A summary of each of these strategies is provided in the Definition of Terms later on in this section.

Limited incubator development is allowable, as long as the applicant demonstrates the incubator will support participating businesses that demonstrate the financial capacity to create the agreed-upon jobs for individuals with low incomes within the proposed geographic location. For more information on an incubator, see the Definition of Terms found later in this section.

INELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES

CED grant funds may not be used for: 

  • Projects that include the reimbursement of pre-award costs.
  • Projects that provide subawards/pass-throughs.
  • Projects that use funding to capitalize loan loss reserve funds.
  • Project that use funds for loan(s) with balloon payments.
  • Projects that use CED funding to provide loan(s), where re-payment of all loans funded with CED funds does not begin during the course of the funded project period.
  • Projects that create or expand microenterprise business training and technical assistance centers.
  • Projects that focus primarily on job training, job placement, and technical assistance. Limited job training and job placement activities can be supported in the context of modest training that may be provided specifically for the new positions created. For example, funds can be used to train a cashier for a specific position that has been created, but cannot be used to operate a general job training and placement program.
  • Projects that do not create new jobs that did not exist prior to the proposed CED project.
DEFINITION OF TERMS

The following definitions apply throughout this FOA, and applicants are strongly encouraged to review these carefully prior to submitting an application.

Alteration and Renovation (A&R) - For this opportunity, alteration and renovation of real property is defined as alterations, repair, remodeling, and/or renovation of a building which, when completed, will render the building suitable for the use of the project for which the grant is made. Construction and acquisition is excluded. A&R may classify as major or minor, see major renovation and minor alteration and repair definitions later in this section. OCS grant funds expended for alteration and renovation costs of facilities require filing of a Notice of Federal Interest (NFI). (See also Major Renovation and Minor Alteration and Repair.)

Arm’s-Length - An “arm’s-length” arrangement is with an unrelated third party. Meaning the grantee does not own (i.e., “arm’s-length”) the property in whole or in part. The grantee must fund real-property-related activities via a loan or equity investment with the business partner. 

Balloon Payment - A large loan payment agreed upon by the parties and due at the end of a mortgage, commercial loan, or other amortized loan. The balloon payment is not amortized over the life of the loan, and as the remaining balance is the final repayment to the lender. NOTE: As noted in the definition of loan, re-payment of all loans funded with CED funds must begin during the course of the funded project period and balloon payments are not allowed.

Beneficiary - A low-income individual who will directly benefit from the project.

Board Approval - For the purposes of this FOA, Board Approval is a document authorizing the approval of the proposed project by the majority of the Board of Directors in order to ensure the goals and objectives of projects are community-driven and in accordance with community- prioritized needs for job creation. This could be demonstrated through a board resolution, meeting notes, or other written documentation that records the decisions or actions of a CDC Board of Directors.

Board Resolution - Written document recording decisions or actions of a CDC Board of Directors recorded in the minutes of the organization. For the purposes of this FOA, a document authorizing the submission of the CED grant, to ensure the goals and objectives of projects are community-driven and in accordance with community-prioritized needs for job creation, and submitted on behalf of the CDC.

Budget Period - Projects under CED awards are not divided into the typical 12-month intervals known as budget periods. All CED projects have only a single budget period, which is equal in length to the project period. 

Capital Assets - As defined under 45 CFR §75.2, “means tangible or intangible assets used in operations having a useful life of more than one year which are capitalized in accordance with GAAP. Capital assets include: (1) Land, buildings (facilities), equipment, and intellectual property (including software) whether acquired by purchase, construction, manufacture, lease purchase, exchange, or through capital leases; and (2) Additions, improvements, modifications, replacements, rearrangements, reinstallations, renovations or alterations to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life (not ordinary repairs and maintenance).” 

Capital Expenditure - As defined under 45 CFR §75.2, “means expenditures to acquire capital assets or expenditures to make additions, improvements, modifications, replacements, rearrangements, reinstallations, renovations, or alterations to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life.”  Please refer to HHS Grants Policy Statement (GPS) II-31 and II-35 for more information.  

Community - Any geographic area defined by specific boundaries and the residents, businesses, and institutions within that geographical area.

Community Barriers - Conditions in a community that impede success in employment or self- employment of individuals with low incomes. Such conditions may include the following: lack of employment education and training programs; lack of public transportation; lack of markets; unavailability of financing, insurance, or bonding; inadequate social services such as employment services, child care, or job training; high incidence of crime; substance use disorder; inadequate health care; or environmental hazards such as toxic dumpsites or leaking underground tanks.

Community Development Corporation (CDC) - As outlined in Section 680(a)(2) of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of 1981, as amended by the Community Opportunities, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 9921(a)(2), to be a qualified CDC, an organization must meet three conditions: 

  • The organization must be a private nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status;
  • The organization must have articles of incorporation or bylaws demonstrating that the CDC has a principal purpose of planning, developing, or managing low-income housing or community development projects; and
  • The Board of Directors of the organization must have representation from community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders. 

Note: The CDC designation does not need to be specified on any official documents as long as the three requirements stated earlier in this definition are met.  

Community Economic Development (CED) - A process by which a community organizes its resources and capacities to attract capital to invest in physical, commercial, and business development in order to create job opportunities for its residents.

Construction - Defined as including construction of a new facility(ies) or projects in an existing building that are considered to be construction such as relocation of exterior walls, roofs, and floors. Please reference HHS GPS II-32, Construction/Modernization for more information. Note: Applicants proposing a construction project must provide evidence that they are ready to begin construction upon award by including contracts or other third-party agreements with parties involved in the construction.  Also, an NFI must be filed if the project uses CED funding for construction, major alteration and renovation of real property to construct or provide major alterations, or acquisition of a facility or land for the project. The NFI must be filed within 10 business days of the expenditure of funds. See also the definition of Federal Interest. For property a grantee does not own (i.e., “arm’s-length”), the grantee must fund real-property-related activities via a loan or equity investment with the business partner. 

Contract - A contract refers to the procurement of goods and services purchased by a grantee for its own use in carrying out the project. The term does not apply to financial assistance awarded to a third-party for the third-party's benefit. (See also Subaward.)

Debt Instruments - Any financial documents that enable the issuing party to raise funds by promising to repay a lender in accordance with terms of a contract. Types of debt instruments include notes, bonds, certificates, mortgages, leases, or other agreements between a lender and a borrower.

Earnings - The net income of the participating business, which is the difference between its revenues, costs, and expenses, as shown on the Profit and Loss Statement.

Eligible Activities - Activities that contribute to the creation or expansion of sustainable participating businesses and full-time, full-year positions within a service area consistent with the cost principles as implemented by 45 CFR Part 75, Subpart E, provided that the expenditures result in job creation for individuals with low incomes.

Employment Education and Training Program - A program that provides employment-directed education and/or training to individuals with low incomes, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grantees, at-risk youth, public housing residents, displaced workers, persons who are homeless, and other individuals with low incomes.

Equity Investment - The provision of capital to an identified for-profit participating business entity for a specified purpose in return for a share of ownership evidenced by a formal equity investment agreement. This may involve the issuance of stock, as in an equity stock investment. An equity investment may be either in a subsidiary for-profit corporation of the applicant or in an unaffiliated business.

Federal Interest - When used in connection with the acquisition, construction, or improvement of real property, equipment, or supplies under a federal award, the federal interest is a dollar amount that is the product of the following: (1) federal share of total project costs; and (2) current fair market value of the property, improvements, or both, to the extent the costs of acquiring or improving the property were included as project costs. (See 45 CFR 75.2.)  Note:  For property owned by the grantee, the federal interest in real property does not expire when the project ends. It continues indefinitely although title vests in the grantee so long as the property is used for the originally authorized purpose.

When the real property is no longer needed for the purpose of the original project, grantees (and on behalf of partners) must submit the SF- 429 Attachment C in GrantSolutions On-Line Data Collection (OLDC) system to request disposition instructions from the ACF Grants Management Officer (GMO). (See 45 CFR 75.318(e) and ACF​ Prope​rty​ Dispo​sitio​n​ Guida​nce​)

Financial Feasibility/Viability - The component of the business plan demonstrating the financial ability of the grantee to achieve the project's goals of creating permanent, full-time jobs for individuals with low incomes over the project period. Financial feasibility/viability is usually demonstrated using the following documentation: profit and loss forecasts or pro forma, cash flow projections, balance sheets, and sources and uses of funds statements. Financially feasible/viable projects identify and explain earnings, fees, or other sources of revenues sufficient to provide for business operation and maintenance, a reasonable reserve, and debt payment for the purpose of job creation.

Financial Literacy Services - Delivery of information and tools that helps individuals make informed choices with regard to their personal finances. Such services typically focus on budgeting, credit, savings, and other matters relating to a household’s financial well-being.

Financial Strategies - That component of the business plan demonstrating the way(s) in which the applicant will access program capital to fully implement the project at the time of the award, as well as the way the applicant will manage, monitor, and use capital resources to successfully create jobs. It encompasses the quality of systems and skills for accounting, budgeting, financial management, cash and credit management, and control over purchase and inventory.

Full-time, Full-year Position - A non-seasonal position requiring at least 30 hours of work per week. An aggregation of part-time positions to a full-time equivalent is not considered a full- time position.

Grant Award - The funding made available to an eligible organization after a competitive grant application process.

Grant Terms and Conditions - A statement of HHS and ACF regulations and policies, pursuant to federal law, that is attached to the Notice of Grant Award and that sets forth the standard terms and conditions with which grantees are required to comply. Applicants are expected to provisionally sign the Statement of Grant Terms and Conditions as an acknowledgement that the official submitting an application for OCS funding has read and understands the terms and conditions applicable to the project, if awarded funding.

Incubator - A program to help start-up participating businesses flourish by providing support, resources, and business services and advice, normally in one physical location. Incubators that are established without a geographic location in the community are not supported by this announcement. Further, for the purposes of this announcement, limited incubator development is allowable as long as the applicant demonstrates the incubator will support participating businesses that demonstrate the financial capacity to create the agreed upon jobs for individuals with low incomes within the proposed geographic location. 

Indirect Costs - Overhead costs of an organization that have been approved by HHS or other federal agencies for use in applying for federal funds.

In-Kind Contributions - These contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies, and/or other expendable property, or goods and services provided by non-governmental sources directly benefiting and specifically allocated to the project.      

Intangible Property - Trademarks; copyrights; patents and patent applications; such property as loans, notes, and other debt instruments; lease agreements; stock; and other personal property ownership acquired with grant funds. Note: Grantees who use federal funding for intangible property or debt instruments must report to the federal government on the continued use of such funds up to 12 years after the end of the project.

Intervention - Any planned activity within a project that is intended to reduce personal barriers or community barriers to employment and can be formally evaluated. For example, job readiness training is an intervention.

Job Creation - New full-time, full-year positions for the project that did not exist prior to the start of the project and came about as a direct result of the investment of OCS funds in project activities, such as development of new business ventures, the expansion of existing participating businesses, or the development of new products and services. Note: This includes the recreation or restoration of full-time, full-year positions that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities are only applicable for the FY 2020  funding opportunity announcement. The training and placement of individuals in positions existing prior to the start of the project, even positions guaranteed to individuals with low incomes through a formal agreement with an employer, is not considered job creation.  

Job Placement - Placing an individual in an existing vacant job of a business, service, or commercial activity not related to new development or expansion activity. All jobs supported by the project must meet the definition of new job creation, not job placement. Note: CED funds cannot be used solely for job placement, but limited job placement activities are permitted in the context of filling the newly created positions with employees.

Job Training - For the purposes of this opportunity, training refers to group-based adult education and skill-building activities (e.g., workshops). It does not include consultations or technical assistance that is specifically customized or tailored to the needs of a particular business identified in the project. Note: CED funds cannot be used primarily for training, but limited job training activities can be supported in the context of modest training that may be provided specifically to employees to fill the new positions created.

Land improvements – These are capital expenditures. These may include, but are not limited to, installation of paved areas (e.g., parking lots, sidewalks, etc.), permanent fences, utility conduits, and similar improvements.

Less-than-arm’s-length. A “less-than-arm’s-length” arrangement, according to 45 CFR §75.465(c), is “one under which one party to the agreement is able to control or substantially influence the actions of the other.” According to 45 CFR §75.465(c), “such examples include, but are not limited to, those between:

  1. Divisions of the non-Federal entity;
  2. The non-Federal entity under common control through common officers, directors, or members; and
  3. The non-Federal entity and a director, trustee, officer, or key employee of the non-Federal entity or an immediate family member, either directly or through corporations, trusts, or similar arrangements in which they hold a controlling interest. For example, the non-Federal entity may establish a separate corporation for the sole purpose of owning property and leasing it back to the non-Federal entity.
  4. Family members include one party with any of the following relationships to another party:
    • Spouse, and parents thereof;
    • Children, and spouses thereof;
    • Parents, and spouses thereof;
    • Siblings, and spouses thereof;
    • Grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses thereof;
    • Domestic partner and parents thereof, including domestic partners of any individual in 2 through 5 of this definition; and
    • Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

An NFI must be filed if CED funding is used for construction, major alteration and renovation of real property to construct or provide major alterations, or acquisition of a facility or land for the project. The NFI must be filed within 10 business days of the expenditure of funds. See also the definition of Federal Interest.

Letters of Support - A signed letter that describes an endorsement of the project from a local or regional government agency or community organization. The letter should describe any specific relationship the agency or organization has to the applicant, knowledge of the applicant's experience and qualifications in business and job creation, and any in-kind or financial contributions to the project, if applicable. 

Loan - Money provided to finance an eligible participating business borrower evidenced by a promissory note and loan agreement for a specified purpose to be repaid, with a stated rate of interest and within a specified period. Loans made to eligible participating businesses must be at or below market rate (or what commercial lenders would offer). This includes a distinct loan fund established exclusively for CED projects as a resource for loans, to finance eligible business development and operational activities that, when principal is repaid, is used to make new loans that support a similar purpose. In all instances, the first borrower must be identified along with the standards used for selection. Interest accrued on CED funds must be used to continue or expand the activities of the approved project. See also the definition of federal interest. Re-payment of all loans funded with CED funds must begin during the course of the funded project period and a balloon payment is not allowed. No portion of a loan is forgivable. Note: If the loan is to acquire, construct, and/or renovate real property, the federal requirement related to “real property” and construction project information contained within this funding opportunity apply.

Low-income - Per the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pub. L. 116-136, for FY 2020 purposes of this FOA, “low-income” will be defined as an individual whose household income level does not exceed 200 percent of the official poverty guidelines as found in the most recent revision of the HHS Poverty Guidelines published by HHS.  

Major Renovation – This involves major renovation (also known as large-scale modernization or permanent improvement; major A&R) of facilities. It includes alterations, renovation, remodeling, improvement, expansion, or repair. It is a structural change (e.g., to the foundation, roof, floor, or exterior or load-bearing walls of a facility, or extension of an existing facility) to achieve an increase in the floor area and/or change the function and purpose of the facility(ies). Please reference HHS GPS II-98, Construction and Modernization of Facilities for more information at  https​://www​.hhs​.gov​/sites​/defau​lt​/files​/grant​s​/grant​s​/polic​ies​-regul​ation​s​/hhsgp​s107​.pdf​.  An NFI must be filed if it uses CED funding for construction, major alteration and renovation of real property to construct or provide major alterations, or acquisition of a facility or land for the project. The NFI must be filed within 10 business days of the expenditure of funds. See also the definition of Federal Interest

Minor Alteration and Repair - These are improvements of buildings and equipment that do not meet the definition of major renovation.  Minor A&R excludes acquisition and construction.

Microenterprise - A commercial participating business with five or fewer employees, at least one of whom is the owner.

More Experienced Partner - A project partner that successfully meets all of the following requirements: is a CDC, has completed two or more CED projects; has completed one or more projects involving activities similar to the proposed project; and has experience with collaborative programming.

Nonprofit Organization - Any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization, not including institutions of higher education, that:

(1)  is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest; (2) is not organized primarily for profit; and (3) uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve, and/or expand its operations. For this purpose, the term "nonprofit organization" excludes colleges and universities; hospitals; state, local, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; and those nonprofit organizations listed in Appendix VIII to 45 CFR Part 75 - Nonprofit Organizations Exempt from Subpart E of Part 75.

Notice of Federal Interest (NFI) - A notice of public record that a grantee must file if it directly expends federal grant funds for acquisition, construction, or major alteration and renovation of real property. See also the definition of Federal Interest.

Notice of Award - A legal document given to the intended organization that indicates an award has been made and that funds may be requested from the designated HHS payment system or office; the notice of grant award shows the amount of federal funds authorized for obligation and the budget period for the approved project. Grantees will find this information helpful because it outlines the conditions of their grant awards.

Opportunity Zone - An initiative created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, to designate economically distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for resources leveraged by preferential tax treatment to investors. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Opportunity Zones have now been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. The U.S. Treasury Department has developed a list of Opportunity Zones that can be found at https​://www​.cdfif​und​.gov​/Pages​ /Oppor​tunit​y​-Zones​.aspx​. More information about the Opportunity Zones initiative is available at https​://www​.irs​.gov​/newsr​oom​/oppor​tunit​y​-zones​-frequ​ently​-asked​-quest​ions​.

Participating Business - A business that has been identified as a CED project participant having executed a third-party agreement with the CED applicant to create new, full-time, full- year jobs, at least 75 percent of which will be filled by individuals with low incomes. Proposed jobs are specifically identified in the third-party agreement.

Pass-throughs - Pass-throughs are not permitted under this FOA. A pass-through is an award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a grantee to an eligible subgrantee or by a subgrantee to a lower tier subgrantee. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, but does not include procurement of goods and services, nor does it include any form of assistance that is excluded from the definition of "award" in this section.

Note: Equity investments and loan transactions are not pass-throughs; these qualify as intangible property and debt instruments. Note: If the note is to acquire, construct, and/or renovate real property, the federal requirement related to “real property” and construction project information contained within this FOA apply.  

Persistent Poverty County - A county in which 20 percent or more of the population has lived in poverty over the past 30 years according to the U.S. Census, as determined by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Personal Barriers - Those aspects of an individual's personal situation that may impede success in obtaining and retaining employment. Barriers may include factors such as limited education, substance use disorder, insufficient life skills, criminal history, health problems, or disability.

Profit and Loss Statement - Financial report summarizing participating business revenues, expenses, and net income over a specified period of time.

Project - The scope of OCS activities described in the application for federal grant funds pursuant to this announcement.

Project Partner - Any individual, organization, or business entity participating in the project that is not the direct grantee of CED grant funds. Typical project partners include the following: equity investors, donors, a more experienced partner, a wholly owned subsidiary, or a business entity to which the grantee makes an equity investment or capitalizes a loan in support of grant purposes. Note: CED grantees must play a substantive role in the project. A grantee working with a project partner must actively monitor the project and ensure compliance with CED program requirements.

Project Period - The total time for which federal support has been programmatically approved as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). Non-construction projects will have a 3-year project period. Projects that involve construction will have a 5-year project period.

Promise Zone - Initiative to designate a number of high-poverty communities as Promise Zones, where the federal government will partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic development activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety. More information about the Promise Zones initiative is available at https​://www​.hud​.gov​/progr​am_of​fices​/field​_poli​cy_mg​t​/field​polic​ymgtp​z​.

Public Agency Partner - Public assistance and other agencies responsible for administering child support enforcement, TANF, and employment education and training programs (for example, the Department of Labor's One-Stop Career Centers funded by the Employment and Training Administration). 

Real Property - Defined by 45 CFR §75.2, means “land, including land improvements, structures and appurtenances [affixed equipment] thereto, but excludes moveable machinery and equipment.” Please also reference HHSGPSII-35, Land or Building Acquisition, for more information at https​://www​.hhs​.gov​/sites​/defau​lt​/files​/grant​s​/grant​s​/polic​ies​-regul​ation​s​/hhsgp​s107​.pdf​.   Note: Grantees using federal funding for construction, renovations, or to acquire a facility or land for the project must file an NFI. See also the definition of Federal Interest. The federal share of real property, equipment, or supplies is that percentage of the property's or supplies' acquisition costs and any improvement expenditures paid with federal funds. This will be the same percentage as the federal share of the total costs under the award for the funding period in which the property was acquired (excluding the value of third party in-kind contributions).

Rural Community - For purposes of this FOA, bonus points will be awarded to projects that will create jobs in a rural community with a high rate of poverty, unemployment, or substance use disorder (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)), or hire individuals with low income from a rural community to fill positions created. OMB designates counties as Metropolitan, Micropolitan, or Neither. A Metro area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, and a Micro area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population. All counties that are not part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area are considered rural. Micropolitan counties are considered non-Metropolitan or rural along with all counties that are classified as Neither. For more information on Metro areas, see  www​.censu​s​.gov​/progr​ams​-surve​ys​/metro​-micro​.html​.

Self-Employment - The employment status of an individual who owns and operates a for-profit business. 

Self-Sufficiency - A state of being or status of an individual or family where, by reason of employment, eligibility for public assistance is replaced by the financial capacity to meet all basic needs.

Service Area- The community to be served by the funded project. 

Site Control - Documented proof of the applicant's ownership or control of the property where

grant activities will be conducted. Proof of site control includes all of the following documentation: documentation of the specific property location (address, city, state); documentation of a signed and dated deed or lease agreement between the applicant and property owner; or, documentation in the agreement of the terms of the agreement, use of premises, and description of the site (prior use or new property, square footage, use of space for the project).

Social Service Provider - Agencies and/or organizations that work with individuals with low incomes and can assist a grantee with filling the newly created positions with individuals with low incomes. Examples of social service providers include TANF, employment education and training programs (for example, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration -funded One-Stop Career Centers), and local Child Support Enforcement agencies. These partnerships should be documented with signed third-party agreements, such as Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), letters of commitment, or project partner agreements.

Sources and Uses of Funds Statement - A statement that identifies the committed sources of debt and equity financing and the specific categories of uses of funds associated with each of the sources for the project.

Stock - A share of ownership in a for-profit company. Stocks are sold to investors by a for- profit corporation to raise capital for the start-up and/or expansion of the business. Stock purchases by the grantee/grantee are equity investments. Such investments may be made by grantees in affiliated and non-affiliated businesses.

Subaward - Subawards are not permitted under this FOA. A subaward (also known as a pass-through) is an award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a grantee to an eligible subgrantee or by a subgrantee to a lower tier subgrantee. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, but does not include procurement of goods and services, nor does it include any form of assistance that is excluded from the definition of "award" in this section. Note: Equity investments and loan transactions are not subawards; these qualify as intangible property and debt instruments.

Substance Use Disorder - This disorder occurs when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. 

Support Services - For the purpose of this FOA, services provided to the target population that support and complement efforts to obtain economic self-sufficiency. This may include social supports, such as financial literacy training, child care, transportation, substance use disorder treatment, English language education, or job training.

Technical Assistance - A problem-solving service generally using the services of a specialist and specifically customized or tailored to the needs of a particular organization. Such services may be provided on-site, by telephone, or by other means of communication.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - The federal block grant program authorized in title I of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (part A of title IV under the Social Security Act), as amended.

Third-Party Agreement - Written and signed agreements between grantees and social service providers, subcontractors, project partners, or other cooperating entities. These agreements must detail the scope of work to be performed, work schedules, remuneration, and other terms and conditions that structure or define the relationship. No agreement can be a subaward for CED funds. The following are examples of common types of third-party agreements for CED projects:

Commitment Letter - A signed letter of commitment that describes the level of financial support for the project made by a third-party (e.g., a lender, investor, donor, or other grantor). Such commitment letters are required if the applicant proposes a project for which non-CED funds (e.g., loans, municipal, federal or state tax credits, equity stock  investments, etc.) will be required in order to successfully create the proposed jobs and create and/or expand the proposed business(es). Commitment letters must be signed, specific, and conditioned only on the receipt of the grant award.

Equity Investment Agreement - A written agreement that documents a capital investment by a grantee in a participating business to achieve the purposes of the project as defined in the application. The agreement sets forth the grantee's share of ownership in the business, the terms and conditions related to the use of the invested funds, the rights of the grantee as an equity owner, including, if the business is a corporation, representation on the board of directors, and any provisions for liquidation of the investment. The agreement must include the elements outlined in Section IV.2.Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Business Plan – Project Implementation.

Project Partner Agreement - A written and signed agreement, entered into by the grantee and project partners, such as a more experienced partner or social service providers that will indirectly spend CED funds and/or create new full-time, full-year positions and/or play another role to help the grantee achieve the purposes of this project. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a project partner committing resources or capital is a typical project partner agreement. The agreement must include the elements outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, Organizational Capacity.

Underserved Areas - For the purposes of this opportunity, underserved areas are the states and territories that do not have active CED projects.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES   

Resources for prospective applicants will be available at https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​/ocs​/progr​ams​/ced​ under the link titled, “Information for Prospective Grantees."

Pre-application Webinar 

A pre-application webinar and related materials will be available for viewing on this site no later than 7 days after publication and will be available at https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​ /ocs​/progr​ams​/ced​ until the closing of this FOA. The goal of the pre-recorded webinar is to outline the CED program’s purpose and strategies, provide key dates for submitting an application for CED, and review key application criteria and requirements as outlined in the FOA.

Joining and participating in the pre-recorded webinar is voluntary. Only the information provided in this FOA will be presented. No question and answer portion will be conducted during the session. Participants will remain anonymous. Opting not to participate in the webinar will not affect eligibility, application scoring, or the selection process. Applicants will be able to access the recording and transcript on the Program Office website at https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/progr​ams​/ocs​/progr​ams​/ced​.

II. Federal Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $13,600,000
Expected Number of Awards: 17
Award Ceiling: $800,000 Per Project Period
Award Floor: $100,000 Per Project Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $750,000 Per Project Period
Anticipated Project Start Date: 09/30/2020

Length of Project Periods:

Length of Project Period: Other

       CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects.  Non-construction projects will have one 36-month project and budget period.  Projects that involve construction will have one 60-month project and budget period. 

 

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A recipient's failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. See Section III.2. of this announcement for information on cost-sharing or matching requirements.

All awards will be fully funded; however, projects that include construction will be special conditioned.  Construction projects must include a budget and budget narrative and submission of SF-429 form(s), along with supporting documents in GrantSolutions OLDC, that support the expenditures of CED grant funds in relationship to the completion of specific project milestones.  Please see Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Budget and Budget Justification and Section VI.3. Reporting for more information.

ACF reserves the right to request and access any documents, papers, or other records of the grantee that are pertinent to the federal award. See HHS GPS II-86 and 45 CFR §75.364.

III. Eligibility Information

III.1. Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the CED program, an applicant must meet the following three conditions: 

  1. Applicant must be a private, nonprofit CDC with 501(c)(3) status; 
  2. Applicant must have articles of incorporation or bylaws demonstrating that the CDC has as a principal purpose the planning, developing, or managing of low-income housing or community economic development activities; and
  3. The Board of Directors must have representation from each of the following: community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders. 

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
 

III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: No

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient’s cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR § 75.306.

For awards that require matching by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the amount required by the statutory match. A recipient’s failure to provide the statutorily required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, where “cost sharing” refers to any situation in which the recipient voluntarily shares in the costs of a project other than as statutorily required matching, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards. These include situations in which contributions are voluntarily proposed by a recipient or subrecipient and are accepted by ACF. Non-federal cost sharing will be included in the approved project budget so that the recipient will be held accountable for proposed non-federal cost-sharing funds as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient’s failure to provide voluntary cost sharing of non-federal resources that have been accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that have been shown as part of the approved project budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

Non-federal resources will be evaluated under criteria found in Section V.1. of this announcement.
 

III.3. Other

Application Disqualification Factors

Applications from individuals (including sole proprietorships) and foreign entities are not eligible and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period ("per project period" refers only to fully funded awards), as stated in Section II. Federal Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov. Paper applications received from applicants that have not been approved for an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption that will allow the applicant to submit applications in paper format. Information and the requirements for requesting an exemption from required electronic application submission are found in "ACF Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6


Missing the Application Deadline (Late Applications)

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a dated and time-stamped email from www.Grants.gov, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. 

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, which fail the www.Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at, or acknowledged by, ACF. 

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the submission will generate a new date and time-stamp email notification. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which is transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.  

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. Paper applications received from applicants that have not received approval of an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

OCS Application Disqualification Factors 

Applications received from organizations that are not CDCs will be disqualified from competitive review and funding under this announcement.

Notification of Application Disqualification

Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

Gerald Shanklin
OCS Operations Center
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
1401 Mercantile Lane, Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774
Phone: 1-855-792-6551
Email: ocstech@reviewops.org


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available in the FOA's listing at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" available in the FOA's Grants.gov Synopsis under the Package tab at www.Grants.gov. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) for assistance at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS

Each applicant applying electronically via www.Grants.gov is required to upload only two electronic files, excluding Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. No more than two files will be accepted for the review, and additional files will be removed. Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.

FOR ALL APPLICATIONS:
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
AOR is the designated representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the award and administration of grants. In signing a grant application, this individual agrees that the organization will assume the obligations imposed by applicable Federal statutes and regulations and other terms and conditions of the award, including any assurances, if a grant is awarded.

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.  The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.

Accepted Font Style
Applications must be in Times New Roman (TNR), 12-point font, except for footnotes, which may be TNR 10-point font.  Pages that contain blurred text, or text that is too small to read comfortably, will be removed. 

English Language
Applications must be submitted in the English language and must be in the terms of United States (U.S.) dollars. If applications are submitted using another currency, ACF will convert the foreign currency to U.S. currency using the date of receipt of the application to determine the rate of exchange.


Page Limitations
Applicants must observe the page limitation(s) listed under "PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:".  Page limitation(s) do not include SFs and OMB-approved forms.

All applications must be double-spaced.  An application that exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the Project Description file or the Appendices file will have the last extra pages removed and the removed pages will not be reviewed.

Application Elements Exempted from Double-Spacing Requirements
The following elements of the application submission are exempt from the double-spacing requirements and may be single-spaced: the table of contents, the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, required Assurances and Certifications, required SFs, required OMB-approved forms, resumes, logic models, proof of legal status/non-profit status, third-party agreements, letters of support,  footnotes, tables, the line-item budget and/or the budget justification.

Adherence to FOA Formatting, Font, and Page Limitation Requirements
Applications that fail to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will be adjusted by the removal of page(s) from the application. Pages will be removed before the objective review. The removed page(s) will not be made available to reviewers.

Applications that have more than one scanned page of a document on a single page will have the page(s) removed from the review.

For applicants that submit paper applications, double-sided pages will be counted as two pages. When the maximum allowed number of pages is reached, excess pages will be removed and will not be made available to reviewers.

NOTE: Applicants failing to adhere to ACF’s FOA formatting, font, and page limitation requirements will receive a letter from ACF notifying them that their application was amended. The letter will be sent after awards have been issued and will specify the reason(s) for removal of page(s).

Corrections/Updates to Submitted Applications
When applicants make revisions to a previously submitted application, ACF will accept only the last on-time application for pre-review under the Application Disqualification Factors. The Application Disqualification Factors determine the application's acceptance for competitive review. See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors and Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.

Applicants submitting applications in paper format must submit one original and two copies of the complete application, including all Standard Forms and OMB-approved forms. The original copy must have original signatures.

Signatures
Applicants submitting electronic applications must follow the registration and application submission instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

The original of a paper format application must include original signatures of the authorized representatives.

Accepted Application Format
With the exception of the required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, all application materials must be formatted so that they are 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins all around.

If possible, applicants are encouraged to include page numbers for each page within the application.

ACF generally does not encourage submission of scanned documents as they tend to have reduced clarity and readability.  If documents must be scanned, the font size on any scanned documents must be large enough so that it is readable. Documents must be scanned page-for-page, meaning that applicants may not scan more than one page of a document onto a single page. Pages with blurred text will be removed from the application.

PAGE LIMITATIONS AND CONTENT FOR ALL SUBMISSION FORMATS:

All submissions, inclusive of the Project Description and the Appendices, are limited to 200 pages total.

The Project Description must include the following. All items must be labeled, numbered, and organized clearly in the Table of Contents.  

Table of Contents

  • Project Summary/Abstract
  • Geographic Location
  • Need for Assistance
  • Objectives
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Organizational Capacity
  • Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds and Activities
  • Project Sustainability
  • Business Plan – Project Viability
  • Business Plan – Project Implementation
  • Business Plan – Barrier Reduction to Help Employees Achieve Self-Sufficiency
  • Business Plan – Past Performance with Similar Job Creation Projects
  • Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information
  • Third-Party Agreements
  • Letters of Support (actual letters should be included in the Appendices)
  • Project Budget and Budget Justification
  • Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Alignment with the Opportunity Zones Initiative
  • Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: CED Projects Located in Rural Communities with High Rates of Poverty, Unemployment, and Substance use disorder
  • Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Project Located in County with Persistent Poverty
  • Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Alignment with the Promise Zones Initiative
  • Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: States or Trust Territories

The Appendices must include the following. All items must be labeled, numbered, and organized clearly in the Table of Contents.  

Table of Contents

  • Proof of Legal Status/Proof of Nonprofit Status
  • Additional Eligibility Documentation 
  • Market Research and Data
  • Evidence of Site Control (executed leases, draft leases, unsigned leases, or a letter of intent for each proposed property(ies). Note: The lease documentation will not count towards the page limitation.)
  • Financial Documentation (i.e., profit and loss forecasts or pro forma, cash flow projections, balance sheets, and sources and uses of funds statements)
  • Third-party Agreements
  • Resumes (must be no more than two pages in length and identify the percent of time the individual has available for the project)
  • Letters of Support
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Other Supporting Documentation

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options for information about requesting an exemption.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.

Each applicant is required to upload ONLY two electronic files, excluding SFs and OMB-approved forms.

File One: Must contain the entire Project Description, and the Budget and Budget Justification (including a line-item budget and a budget narrative).

File Two: Must contain all documents required in the Appendices.

Adherence to the Two-File Requirement
No more than two files will be accepted for the review.  Applications with additional files will be amended and files will be removed from the review.  SFs and OMB-approved forms will not be considered additional files.  

Application Upload Requirements
ACF strongly recommends that electronic applications be uploaded as Portable Document Files (PDFs). One file must contain the entire Project Description and Budget Justification; the other file must contain all documents required in the Appendices. Details on the content of each of the two files, as well as page limitations, are listed earlier in this section.

To adhere to the two-file requirement, applicants may need to convert and/or merge documents together using a PDF converter software. Many recent versions of Microsoft Office include the ability to save documents to the PDF format without need of additional software. Applicants using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software will be able to merge these documents together.  ACF recommends merging documents electronically rather than scanning multiple documents into one document manually, as scanned documents may have reduced clarity and readability.

Applicants must ensure that the version of Adobe Acrobat Reader they are using is compatible with Grants.gov. To verify Adobe software compatibility please go to Grants.gov and click on “Applicants” at the top bar menu and select “Adobe Software Compatibility", which is listed under "Applicant Resources." The Adobe verification process allows applicants to test their version of the software by opening a test Workspace PDF form. Grants.gov also includes guidance on how to download a supported version of Adobe, as well as troubleshooting instructions for use, if an applicant is unable to open the test form. 

The Adobe Software Compatibility page located on Grants.gov also provides guidance for applicants on filling out a Workspace PDF form. In addition, it addresses local network and/or computer security settings and the impact this has on use of Adobe software.

Required Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved Forms
Standard Forms (SFs) and OMB-approved forms, such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL (Project/Performance Site Location), are uploaded separately at Grants.gov. These forms are submitted separately from the Project Description and Appendices files. See Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for the listing of required Standard Forms, OMB-approved forms, and required assurances and certifications.

Naming Application Submission Files
Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov. Limit file names to 50 characters (characters and spaces). Special characters that are allowed under Grants.gov’s naming conventions, and are accommodated by ACF’s systems, are listed in the instructions available in the "Select Grant Opportunity Package" at Grants.gov. Please also see https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/submitting-utf-8-special-characters.html.

Use only file formats supported by ACF
It is critical that applicants submit applications using only the supported file formats listed here. While ACF supports all of the following file formats, we strongly recommend that the two application submission files (Project Description and Appendices) are uploaded as PDF documents in order to comply with the two file upload limitation. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do Not Encrypt or Password-Protect the Electronic Application Files
If ACF cannot access submitted electronic files because they are encrypted or password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed. This removal may make the application incomplete and ACF will not make awards based on an incomplete application.

FORMATTING FOR PAPER APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS:
The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption from ACF in order for a paper format application to be accepted for review. For more information on the exemption, see "ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission'" at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ howto#chapter-6

Format Requirements for Paper Applications
All copies of mailed or hand-delivered paper applications must be submitted in a single package. If an applicant is submitting multiple applications under a single FOA, or multiple applications under separate FOAs, each application submission must be packaged separately. The package(s) must be clearly labeled for the specific FOA it addresses by FOA title and by Funding Opportunity Number (FON).

Applicants using paper format should download the application forms package associated with the FOA's Synopsis on www.Grants.gov under the Package tab.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate sections of the application. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the federal government for review. All application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes. All pages in the application submission must be sequentially numbered.

Addresses for Submission of Paper Applications
See Section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper format application submissions.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications


Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application.
All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available in the Application Package posted for this FOA at www.Grants.gov.

 

Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

SF-424C - Budget Information - Construction Programs

and

SF-424D - Assurances - Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for a construction project.  By signing and submitting the SF-424D, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application.  If it is not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions.

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for a non-construction project. Standard Forms must be used. Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Required for all applications when applying for a non-construction project. 

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of the certification is required for all applicants.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/ webfo​rm​

Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SAM registration is available at 
http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) for more information.

SF-Project/Performance Site Location(s) (SF-P/PSL)

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications. In the SF-P/PSL, applicants must cite their primary location and up to 29 additional performance sites.

SF-424A  Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs / SF-424B  Assurances - Non-Construction Programs and SF-424C - Budget Information Construction Programs / SF-424D - Assurances Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for both, non-construction and construction activities, under the proposed project. Standard Forms must be used. Standard Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B and/or SF-424D, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.

Required for all applications when applying for non-construction and/or construction activities under the proposed project.  Please see special instructions in the Checklist in Section VIII. Other Information in this announcement.

Projects that include both, non-construction and construction activities must submit the SF-424A, B, C, and D.

 

 

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

All applicants and recipients are required to submit, in writing, to the awarding agency and to the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), all information related to violations of federal criminal law involving fraud, bribery, or gratuity violations potentially affecting the federal award. (Mandatory Disclosures, 45 CFR § 75.113)

Disclosures must be sent in writing to:

The Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Grants Management, ATTN: Grants Management Specialist, 330 C Street, SW., Switzer Building, Corridor 3200, Washington, DC 20201

And to:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, ATTN: Mandatory Grant Disclosures, Intake Coordinator, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Cohen Building, Room 5527, Washington, DC 20201

Fax: (202) 205-0604 (Include “Mandatory Grant Disclosures” in subject line) or
Email: MandatoryGranteeDisclosures@oig.hhs.gov


Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information. If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
    The Project Description

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

General Expectations and Instructions

The Project Description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for financial assistance. It must address all activities for which federal funds are being requested and all application requirements as stated in this section. The Project Description must explain how the project will meet the purpose of the FOA, as described in Section I. Program Description. As a reminder, reviewers will be evaluating this section in accordance with Section V.1. Criteria.

The Project Description must be clear, concise, and complete. ACF is particularly interested in Project Descriptions that convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project Descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting documents designated as required must be included in the Appendix of the FOA.

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers. The table of contents may be single spaced.

Project Summary

Provide a summary of the application project description. It must be clear, accurate, concise, and without cross-references to other parts of the application. The summary must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served.

Please place the following at the top of the Project Summary:

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax, Cell)
  • Email Address
  • Website Address, if applicable

The Project Summary must be single-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, and limited to one page in length. Additional pages will be removed and will not be reviewed.

Geographic Location

Describe the precise physical location of the project and boundaries of the area to be served by the proposed project.

Additional Eligibility Documentation

Applicants must provide the additional, required documentation, or required credentials, to support eligibility for an award, as described in Section III. Eligibility Information of this announcement.

  • Articles of incorporation or bylaws demonstrating that the CDC has, as a principal purpose, the planning, developing, or managing of low-income housing or community economic development projects.  
  • Documentation that the Board of Directors has representation from each of the following: community residents, business leaders, and civic leaders.

 

Need For Assistance

Clearly identify the physical, economic, social, financial, institutional, and/or other problem(s) requiring a solution. The need for assistance, including the nature and scope of the problem, must be demonstrated. Supporting documentation, such as letters of support and testimonials from concerned parties, may be included in the Appendix. Any relevant data based on planning studies or needs assessments should be included or referred to in the endnotes or footnotes. Incorporate demographic data and participant/beneficiary information, as available.

Objectives

Clearly state the principal and subordinate objectives of the project. Applicants must address how the objectives stated relate to the overall purpose of the program and describe how objectives will be achieved.

The application must include recent evidence (published within the past 5 years), from U.S. Census updates and other statistics published by federal, state, county, city, or other government bodies, that both the unemployment rate and the poverty rate within the project's service area are equal to or greater than the state or national level.

Expected Outcomes

Identify the outcomes to be achieved from the project. Outcomes should relate to the overall program as described in Section I. Program Description. If research is part of the proposed work, outcomes must include hypothesized results and implications of the proposed research.

Organizational Capacity

Provide the following information on the applicant organization and, if applicable, on any cooperating partners:

  • Organizational charts;
  • Resumes;
  • Biographical Sketches (short narrative description);
  • List of Board of Directors;
  • Financial statements adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), if available, submit statements for up to the two most recently completed fiscal years (this requirement does not apply to start-up organizations);
  • Audit reports or statements from Certified Public Accountants/Licensed Public Accountants, if available, submit statements for up to the two most recently completed fiscal years (this requirement does not apply to start-up organizations);
  • Evidence that the applicant organization, and any partnering organizations, have relevant experience and expertise with administration, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of programs similar to that offered under this announcement;
  • Evidence that each participating organization, including partners, contractors and/or subrecipients, possess the organizational capability to fulfill their role(s) and function(s) effectively.
  • Job descriptions for each vacant key position.

The application must demonstrate the majority of the Board of Directors has granted board approval (see Definition of Terms available in Section I. Program Description) for the proposed project. Note: Since the CED program is based on the premise that local communities are best positioned to meet the needs of their communities, the Board of Directors for the governing organization must include representation from the community in which the proposed project will be located.

Applicants that cannot demonstrate substantial experience with economic development projects similar in size and scope to those proposed in the application must provide evidence of a viable partnership with a more experienced partner (as defined in Section I. Program Description) and evidence of a workable and strategic arrangement for the more experienced partner to provide the administrative, technical, and/or financial technical assistance needed to ensure the success of the project. Such a partnership must be demonstrated through a third-party agreement that includes a description of roles and the relationship between the applicant and project partner.

If the applicant proposes to partner with participating businesses that will directly or indirectly spend CED funds and/or create new full-time, full-year positions, the application must include a third-party agreement between the applicant and the project partner that includes a description of roles and the relationship between the applicant and project partner. The agreement must be signed by all parties and, at a minimum, contain the following items: 

  • A minimum of 75 percent of the positions created and tracked, as a result of the project partner's involvement in the project, will be filled by individuals with low incomes;
  • Prospective candidates for positions to be filled by individuals with low incomes will be recruited and verified as eligible under the program;
  • Strategies for retention of individuals with low incomes in the newly created positions have been established;
  • Detailed records documenting appropriate expenditures of grant funds will be provided regularly;
  • The grantee will play a substantive role in the project and will actively monitor the partner’s activities to ensure compliance with CED program requirements;
  • All parties will cooperate with federal monitoring efforts; and
  • The participating business will maintain accurate, unduplicated counts of positions created, as distinct from the number of individuals hired to fill them over the course of the grant. 

The application must also demonstrate the project partner's financial viability and provide evidence that the participating business has the capacity to responsibly manage the proposed federal funds.

The application must demonstrate through biographical sketches, degree information, resumes, and descriptions of previous project experience that the identified staff are qualified for their designated role in the proposed project and identify the percent of time the individual has available for the project.

The application must clearly state whether all key project staff positions are filled with identified staff who have available time to fill the appropriate time commitments, and that key project staff have experience in supervision, finance and business development and management, and working with the target population.

Staff experience must be pertinent and describe each individuals' skills and experience in enough detail to demonstrate an ability to fulfill the tasks assigned to them.

In cases where a key staff person has not yet been hired, the application must demonstrate that an appropriate position description, recruitment strategy, and estimated hiring timeline have been developed.

If applicable, for each property rented and proposed for use during the project period for which funds will be charged as a direct or indirect cost to the grant made under this FOA, the applicant must provide an executed lease. If a lease has not been executed prior to submission of an application, the applicant must submit an actual draft of the unsigned lease or a letter of intent describing the potential arrangement including address, terms, length, and proposed expenses.

Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds and Activities

Grantees are required to ensure proper oversight in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart D. These regulations set forth the following standards for effective oversight:

  • Financial and Program Management
  • Property (if applicable by program legislation)
  • Procurement
  • Performance and Financial Monitoring and Reporting
  • Subrecipient Monitoring and Management
  • Record Retention and Access
  • Remedies for Noncompliance

Describe the framework (e.g. governance, policies and procedures, risk management, systems) in place to ensure proper oversight of federal funds and activities in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart D. The description must include: system(s) for record-keeping and financial management; procedures to identify and mitigate risks and issues (e.g., audit findings, continuous program performance assessment findings, program monitoring); and those key staff that will be responsible for maintaining oversight of program activities staff, and, if applicable, partner(s) and/or subrecipient(s).

Project Sustainability Plan

Applicants must propose a plan for project sustainability after the period of federal funding ends. Grantees are expected to sustain key elements of their grant projects, e.g., strategies or services and interventions, which have been effective in improving practices and outcomes.

Describe the approach to project sustainability that will be most effective and feasible. Provide a description of key individuals and/or organizations whose support will be required. Address the types of alternative support that will be required to maintain the program. If the proposed project involves key project partners, describe how their cooperation and/or collaboration will be maintained after the end of federal funding.

Business Plan

When federal grant funds will be used to support a business operation, provide a business plan.


The business plan shall include the following: 

  • A clear separation of construction and non-construction activities - each (if applicable) will include a realistic project plan with a timeline that clearly indicates that the project will be complete and all CED funding will be expended within the grant period;
  • Financial documents showing all necessary financing is in place and not contingent upon other financing sources;
  • A timeline that indicates when the expenditure of federal funds would be necessary;
  • Documentation that demonstrates site control; and
  • Signed agreements in place with the first identified borrower or investment and other project partners. 

The following elements must be addressed in detail in your application.

Business Plan – Project Viability  

The business plan for the CED project must clearly separate construction and non-construction activities and indicate a high likelihood of success in creating and/or expanding participating business(es), which will in turn create jobs for individuals with low incomes. The application must describe a plan for assessing the needs and proposed solutions to the identified barrier(s) within the community in order to demonstrate that the project will create positions that help address the unmet needs. It must provide a clear overview of the nature of the project, how the participating business(es) will be created and/or expanded, how the new jobs will be created, and describe the number and types of positions to be created. It must also discuss whether the project is construction or non-construction and whether the project involves business creation or business expansion and equity stock or loan investment. The business plan must provide an overall approach to the project.

The business plan must include a holistic project plan that provides sufficient details regarding how each aspect of the project will be implemented in order to demonstrate feasibility. In addition to demonstrating project viability, the implementation plan must, at a minimum, contain a quarterly timeline with specific milestones that identify and support the budget expenditures, linkages to proposed project outcomes, a discussion of how those milestones will be achieved, and an analysis of any factors that might affect the schedule and proposed strategies for dealing with them. The application must demonstrate that the full-time positions created will be sustained for at least one year after the end of the grant period. It must list the steps that will be taken to set up the project solidly and position it for continued success after the end of the grant period.

The applicant must demonstrate financial feasibility of each of the participating business(es) for project viability. The application must include supporting documentation demonstrating financial feasibility (e.g., pro forma, profit and loss statements, forecasts, balance sheets, and sources and uses of funds statements) for all funds available to the project and a detailed explanation of the earnings of participating businesses.

The application must demonstrate that the participating business(es) will create positions in a viable industry, by discussing the industry's short- and long-term outlook and identifying any critical risks relating to the industry. The application must present market research analyzing competition, estimated market share and sales (earnings), and customer base by market segment, size, and trends. Market research and industry data used to support the application must come from recent (i.e., within the past 5 years) published sources, and the applicant must provide reference citations.

The application must provide evidence that the applicant has established a viable recruitment strategy and tracking system to ensure that a minimum of 75 percent of the new positions are filled by individuals with low incomes, as defined by HHS poverty guidelines referenced in Section I. Program Description, General Program Elements. The application must demonstrate that the strategy will focus on the number of positions created rather than the number of individuals hired to fill them over the course of the grant. The application must provide signed agreements with social service providers (as defined in the Definition of Terms available in Section I. Program Description) to obtain and document low-income referrals. Agreements must describe the roles and responsibilities the applicant and social service provider will have in support of the project and be signed and dated by both the applicant and social service provider staff with signature authority.

Business Plan – Project Implementation

The applicant will demonstrate that adequate resources will be available to implement the construction or non-construction project, as described in the business plan, with or without additional project partners, such as investors, donors, subsidiary organizations, entities receiving an equity investment or loan from the grantee, etc. This includes identifying any competing activities that might reduce the availability of the resources for this project.

The applicant must demonstrate that they, or the participating business, have control of the site and/or facilities required to operate the project or that site control is conditioned only on the receipt of the grant award. A discussion of the procedures that will be used to acquire any required equipment must be provided in order to demonstrate the grantee's readiness to undertake the project in compliance with all program requirements. The application must provide proof that the physical facility will be secured. See "Site Control" in the Definition of Terms available in Section I. Program Description.

For a newly established entity, an official (e.g., Executive Director or Board Member authorized to make decisions on behalf of the organization) must provide a signed statement agreeing to establish a financial management system, developed in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75.302, within 6 months of incorporation of the new entity, along with a signed financial statement stating that the organization is financially healthy.

If the applicant proposes to use any portion of the CED funds as an equity stock investment in a participating business, the application should specify the investment and demonstrate that any equity stock investment agreement will be in compliance with 45 CFR Part 75.322 concerning intangible property. An equity stock investment agreement must contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • the purpose(s) for which the applicant will make the equity stock investment;
  • the type of equity stock transaction (such as stock purchase);
  • the cost-per-share and basis on which the applicant derived the cost-per-share;
  • the number of shares the applicant will purchase;
  • the percentage of applicant ownership in the business; and
  • the term or duration of the agreement.

If the grantee's equity stock investment equals 25 percent or more of the businesses' assets, the applicant must demonstrate adequate representation on the board. Note:  An equity investment can only be made to for-profit entities in return for an ownership stake in the business.

For loan projects, the application must identify the specific participating business(es) that will receive the loan(s) and demonstrate how loans will be made in compliance with all program requirements, including 45 CFR Part 75.322, concerning intangible property. Loan projects require, at a minimum, strategies to ensure that: 

  • all loans, either initial loans or subsequent future loans, will go to eligible grantees for business development activities;
  • repayment will begin during the course of the funded project period;   
  • the interest rate charged will be at, or below, market rate;
  • copies of executed loan agreements will be submitted to ACF upon establishing such loans with program participants;
  • any interest accrued on loans will be used to continue or expand the activities of the originally approved project during the grant period; and
  • any repaid principal on such loans that is no longer needed for the originally authorized purpose of the CED program must be disposed of, in accordance with the provisions in 45 CFR §75.320(e) and ACF Property Guidance at https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/grant​s​/real​prope​rty​-and​-tangi​ble​-perso​nal​-prope​rty​

Applications must provide sample loan agreements that include the elements outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Third-Party Agreements, along with the following: 

  • name of the specific business(es) receiving the loans;
  • type(s) of business(es);
  • business development plan(s);
  • interest rate to be charged that will be at or below market rate; and
  • a commitment by the borrower to create new, full-time, full-year jobs - at least 75 percent of which will be filled by individuals with low incomes. 

In all instances involving a loan, the applicant must identify the business(es) that will receive the initial loans, not any subsequent future loans. The applicant must also indicate that copies of executed loan agreements will be submitted to ACF upon establishing such loans with program participants. Additionally, repayment of all loans funded with CED funds must begin during the course of the funded project period.  Note:  No portion of a loan is forgivable. 

For construction projects, the application must identify the business(es) that will receive the benefit of the construction project on the real property.  The applicant must include the property address(es), including county located and land parcel number.  Each property listed must clearly identify whether the existing or proposed property is grantee-owned or leased.  Leased property must be identified as either “arm’s-length” or “less-than-arm’s-length.”  Please refer to the Section I. Program Description, Definition of Terms for more information.

Business Plan – Barrier Reduction to Help Employees Achieve Self-Sufficiency  

The application must demonstrate that the number and types of new full-time positions that will be created are appropriate for the construction or non-construction project. The following information must be included: position title and a summary description of the duties associated with the position; anticipated starting wage or salary; a projection of wage or salary growth opportunities; and employee benefits that will be offered.

The application must demonstrate that participating businesses will create full-time, full-year positions that will allow individuals with low incomes to achieve self-sufficiency through competitive wages, paid leave, fringe benefits, opportunities for career growth, and/or predictable and flexible scheduling practices. Evidence of participating businesses’ ability and commitment to providing such wages, paid leave, fringe benefits, career growth opportunities, and scheduling practices must be clear in pro forma financial statements and accompanying detailed assumptions, as well as in signed, written commitments.

Commitment may be standalone documents or through language included in loan documents, equity investment agreements, or other legally binding agreements between the applicant and participating business(es). Additionally, the applicant must present data published within the past 5 years by a reputable source illustrating that the wages to be paid are adequate for family self-sufficiency within the geographic area in which the business(es) will be located.

The application must clearly describe the types of support services that will be provided through the CED project, clearly demonstrate how these services will help address the specific needs of the target population to be served, and provide a plan for how these support services will be provided. If project partners will be providing support services, a third-party agreement must be included. Agreements must clearly describe the support services to be provided, how and when they will be provided, and the role that the partner organization will play in furthering the goals of the CED project. Further, the application must demonstrate the applicant or project partner’s capacity and prior experience in successfully delivering these services.  Agreements must also be signed and dated by both the applicant and social service provider staff with signature authority. Support services may include financial literacy services, child care services, transportation, substance use disorder treatment, English language education, and job training. See "Support Services" in the Definition of Terms available in Section I. Program Description

Business Plan – Past Performance with Similar Job Creation Projects   

The application must provide evidence of two business creation or business expansion projects undertaken by the applicant within the last 10 years that are substantially similar to the construction or non-construction project for which CED funding is being requested. In addition, provide evidence that these projects were successful in creating full-time, full-year positions that lasted for at least 1 year beyond the project period. For each of the two business creation or business expansion project examples given, the application must provide a quantitative and qualitative description of the impact of these projects (i.e., the number of jobs created for individuals with low incomes, wages, benefits, and position descriptions), and the number of years of project operation and position availability.

Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information

Provide a description of how protected personally identifiable information and other information that is considered sensitive, consistent with applicable federal, state, local and tribal laws regarding privacy and obligations of confidentiality, will be collected and safeguarded. The applicant must provide the methods and/or systems that will be used to ensure that confidential and/or sensitive information is properly handled and if applicable, address the process for subrecipient(s) and/or contractors. Also, provide a plan for the disposition of such information at the end of the project period.

Third-Party Agreements

Third-party agreements include Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Letters of Commitment. Letters of Commitment and MOUs must both clearly describe the roles and responsibilities for project activities and the support and/or resources that the third-party (i.e., subrecipient, contractor, or other cooperating entity) is committing. The Letters of Commitment and MOUs must be signed by the person in the third-party organization with the authority to make such commitments on behalf of their organization. General letters of support are not considered to be third-party agreements.

Applicants must provide Letters of Commitment or MOUs between recipients and third-parties (i.e., subrecipients, contractors, or other cooperating entities).

Applicants must provide Letters of Commitment or MOUs between recipients and third-parties (i.e., subrecipients, contractors, or other cooperating entities). In addition to clearly describing the roles and responsibilities for project activities and support and/or resources that the third-party is committing, these agreements must detail work schedules and estimated remuneration with an understanding that a finalized agreement will be negotiated once the successful applicant is awarded the grant.

A third-party agreement covering a loan transaction must contain, at a minimum, the following information: (1) purpose(s) for which the loan is being made; (2) interest rates and other fees; (3) terms of the loan; (4) repayment schedules; (5) Collateral security; (6) default and collection procedures; (7) signatures of the authorized officials of the lender and the borrower.

A third-party agreement covering an equity investment must contain, at a minimum, the following: (1) purpose(s) for which the equity investment is being made; (2) the type of equity transaction (e.g. stock purchase); (3) cost per share and basis on which the cost per share is derived; (4) number of shares being purchased; (5) percentage of ownership in the business; (6) term of duration of the agreement; (7) number of seats on the board, if applicable; (8) signatures of the authorized officials of the grantee and third party organization.

Letters of Support

Provide statements from community, public, and/or commercial leaders that support the project proposed for funding. All submissions must be included in the application package. At minimum, each letter of support must identify the individual writing the letter, the organization they represent, the date, and reason(s) for supporting the project.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is entered on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C. Applicants are encouraged to review the form instructions in addition to the guidance in this section. The budget justification consists of a budget narrative and a line-item budget detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Applicants must indicate the method they are selecting for their indirect cost rate. See Indirect Charges for further information.

Project budget calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance). See the table in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications listing the appropriate budget forms to use in this application.

Special Note: The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020 and Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, (Division A, Title II, Sec. 202), limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary of an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the "Rates of Pay for the Executive Schedule" is $197,300. This amount reflects an individual's base salary exclusive of fringe benefits and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties of the applicant organization. This salary limitation also applies to subawards and subcontracts under an ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

Provide a budget using the SF-424A and/or SF-424C, as applicable, for each year of the proposed project.
Provide a budget justification, which includes a budget narrative and a line-item detail, for each year of the proposed project. The budget narrative should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

Sources and uses of funds documentation must be provided for both CED and non-CED funding sources (if applicable) necessary to implement the project, along with an itemization of expenses by funding source. The financial plan must also demonstrate the following: 

  • The application budget includes funding for all required items as outlined in the application.
  • Future program income is not necessary to meet the funding needs for implementation of the project design. Program income may not be used to demonstrate the long-term sustainability of the project, since CED projects should be ready for implementation at the time of the award.
  •  The project will create at least the minimum number of jobs for the amount of the requested award, equal to the ratio found by dividing the requested award amount by $25,000 for construction projects, or $20,000 for non-construction projects. For examples of number of jobs based on specific award amounts, see Appendix A: Sample Chart of Jobs Created at the end of this FOA.
  • Travel is included for a minimum of one staff member to attend a training and technical assistance conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the grant and, if the applicant is partnering with an experienced CDC, funds to cover the costs of this support (e.g., travel costs, payments to cover staff time, etc.) are included. Note: Applicants must forecast their cash needs over the project period on the Federal Assistance form, SF424A Sections D and E. 

For projects that involve non-CED funding, the application must provide evidence that all capital requirements have been met through financing, cash resources, or in-kind contributions. This must, at a minimum, contain the following: 

  • Commitment letters describing unconditional financial commitments for loans, municipal, federal or state tax credits, equity stock investments, or other supporting grants and investments.
  • The applicant's financial statement of cash available showing the ability of the applicant to contribute any non-CED cash resources that are needed for the project.
  • Documentation of in-kind contributions of personal property and a demonstration of how the value of those contributions was derived. 

If the applicant does not intend to use non-CED funds to finance the project, the budget must clearly demonstrate the ability of the applicant to carry out a successful project and accomplish its goals with only CED funds.

For projects involving construction, financial plans must have all construction aspects of the project, including property acquisition costs, predevelopment costs, architectural costs, engineering costs, environmental study costs, costs for building permit acquisition and use, occupancy costs, and hard construction costs. 

For construction projects only, a budget narrative describing incremental expenditures of CED funds for project implementation must be provided and tied to the milestones.

Facilities

Applicants must delineate any properties that will be used or proposed for use during the project period and for which funds will be charged to the grant made under this FOA as a direct or indirect cost. Properties must be organized into the following three categories: owned, leased (current lease already in place), or intent to lease (through either a letter of intent or an actual draft/unsigned lease). If a lease(s) has not been executed prior to submission of an application, the applicant must submit an actual draft of the unsigned lease or a letter of intent describing the potential arrangement including address, terms, length, and proposed expenses.

The applicant must identify if the arrangement is an “arm’s-length” or “less-than-arm’s-length” lease and provide how costs are calculated, in accordance with 45 CFR § 75.465 (Rental costs of real property and equipment) and 45 CFR § 75.436 (Depreciation).

In the list of properties, include a detailed breakdown of all proposed costs. It must be clear which costs are related to which property. In the budget justification, include a corresponding detailed narrative explanation of the purpose and need for each proposed cost under this grant award to determine reasonableness, allocability, and allowability of costs. Each property must include a breakdown of proposed costs and narrative, including all of the following, if applicable:  the allocable percentage and total dollar amount; the depreciation amount with type of method and calculation used; rent amount with calculation; terms of lease; tax amount; insurance amount and what it covers; maintenance and repair amounts with details on each type of expense proposed and its associated cost; and minor Alterations & Renovations with specifics for each type of proposed expense and its associated cost.

For ACF property related policy and guidance, please refer to the ACF website at https​://www​ .acf​.hhs​.gov​/grant​s​/real​-prope​rty​-and​-tangi​ble​-perso​nal​-prope​rty​.

Use the following guidelines for preparing the project budget and budget justification. The budget justification includes a budget narrative and a line-item detail. Applications should only include allowable costs in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart E.

Personnel

Description: Costs of employee salaries and wages. See 45 CFR § 75.430 for more information on allowable personnel costs. Do not include the personnel costs of consultants, contractors and subrecipients under this category.

Justification: For each position, provide: the name of the individual (if known), their title; time commitment to the project in months; time commitment to the project as a percentage or full-time equivalent; annual salary; grant salary; wage rates; etc. Identify the project director or principal investigator, if known at the time of application.

Fringe Benefits

Description: Costs of employee fringe benefits are allowances and services provided by employers to their employees in addition to regular salaries and wages. For more information on Fringe Benefits please refer to 45 CFR § 75.431. Do not include the fringe benefits of consultants, contractors, and subrecipients.

Typically, fringe benefit amounts are determined by applying a calculated rate for a particular class of employee (full-time or part-time) to the salary and wages requested. Fringe rates are often specified in the approved indirect cost rate agreement. Fringe benefits may be treated as a direct cost or indirect cost in accordance with the applicant's accounting practices. Only fringe benefits as a direct cost should be entered under this category.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of the amounts and percentages that comprise fringe benefit costs such as health insurance, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, retirement, taxes, etc.

Travel

Description: Costs of project-related travel (i.e., transportation, lodging, subsistence) by employees of the applicant organization who are in travel status on official business. Travel by non-employees such as consultants, contractors or subrecipients should be included under the Contractual line item. Local travel for employees in non-travel status should be listed on the Other line. Travel costs should be developed in accordance with the applicant's travel policies and 45 CFR § 75.474.

Justification: For each trip show: the total number of travelers; travel destination; duration of trip; per diem; mileage allowances, if privately owned vehicles will be used to travel out of town; and other transportation costs and subsistence allowances. If appropriate for this project, travel costs for key project staff to attend ACF-sponsored workshops/conferences/grantee orientations should be detailed in the budget justification.

Equipment

Description: "Equipment" means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the lesser of: (a) the capitalization level established by the organization for the financial statement purposes, or (b) $5,000. (Note: Acquisition cost means the net invoice unit price of an item of equipment, including the cost of any modifications, attachments, accessories, or auxiliary apparatus necessary to make it usable for the purpose for which it is acquired. Ancillary charges, such as taxes, duty, protective in-transit insurance, freight, and installation, shall be included in, or excluded from, acquisition cost in accordance with the organization's regular written accounting practices.) See 45 CFR § 75.439 for more information.

Justification: For each type of equipment requested provide: a description of the equipment; the cost per unit; the number of units; the total cost; and a plan for use on the project; as well as use and/or disposition of the equipment after the project ends.

Supplies

Description: Costs of all tangible personal property, other than included under the Equipment category. This includes office and other consumable supplies with a per-unit cost of less than $5,000. See 45 CFR § 75.453 for more information.

Justification: Specify general categories of supplies and their costs. Show computations and provide other information that supports the amount requested.

Contractual

Description: Cost of all contracts and subawards except for those that belong under other categories such as equipment, supplies, construction, etc. Include third-party evaluation contracts, if applicable, and contract or subawards with secondary recipient organizations (with budget detail), including delegate agencies and specific project(s) and/or businesses to be financed by the applicant. Costs related to individual consultants should be listed on the Other line. Recipients are required to use 45 CFR §§ 75.326-.340 procurement procedures, and subawards are subject to the requirements at 45 CFR §§ 75.351-.353.

Justification: Demonstrate that all procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner to provide, to the maximum extent practical, open, and free competition. Applicants must justify any anticipated procurement action that is expected to be awarded without competition and exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold stated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-18-18: Implementing Statutory Change to the Micro-Purchase and the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance and 48 CFR Subpart 2.1 (when amended accordingly). Recipients may be required to make pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, independent cost estimates, etc., available to ACF.

Indicate whether the proposed agreement qualified as a subaward or contract in accordance with 45 CFR § 75.351. Provide the name of the contractor/subrecipient (if known), a description of anticipated services, a justification for why they are necessary, a breakdown of estimated costs, and an explanation of the selection process. In addition, for subawards, the applicant must provide a detailed budget and budget narrative for each subaward, by entity name, along with the same justifications referred to in these budget and budget justification instructions.

Other

Description: Enter the total of all other costs. Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include, but are not limited to: consultant costs, local travel, insurance, food (when allowable), medical and dental costs (non-personnel), professional service costs (including audit charges), space and equipment rentals, printing and publications, computer use, training costs (such as tuition and stipends), staff development costs, and administrative costs. Please note costs must be allowable per 45 CFR Part 75 Subpart E.

Justification: Provide a breakdown of costs, computations, a narrative description, and a justification for each cost under this category.

Indirect Charges

Description: Total amount of indirect costs. This category has one of two methods that an applicant can select. An applicant may only select one.

  1. The applicant currently has an indirect cost rate approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or another cognizant federal agency.

    Justification: An applicant must enclose a copy of the current approved rate agreement. If the applicant is requesting a rate that is less than what is allowed under the program, the authorized representative of the applicant organization must submit a signed acknowledgement that the applicant is accepting a lower rate than allowed. Choosing to charge a lower rate will not be considered during the objective review or award selection process.

  2. Per 45 CFR § 75.414(f) Indirect (F&A) costs, "any non-Federal entity [i.e., applicant] that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, ... may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely. As described in Section 75.403, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as the non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time." 

    Justification: This method only applies to applicants that have never received an approved negotiated indirect cost rate from HHS or another cognizant federal agency. Applicants awaiting approval of their indirect cost proposal may request the 10 percent de minimis rate. When the applicant chooses this method, costs included in the indirect cost pool must not be charged as direct costs to the grant.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description: Amounts of non-federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424. This line should be used to indicate required and/or voluntary committed cost sharing or matching, if applicable.

For all federal awards, any shared costs or matching funds and all contributions, including cash and third-party in-kind contributions, must be accepted as part of the recipient's cost sharing or matching when such contributions meet all of the criteria listed in 45 CFR § 75.306.

For awards that require matching or cost sharing by statute, recipients will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources (at or above the statutory requirement) in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period, or by project period for fully funded awards. A recipient's failure to provide the statutorily required matching or cost sharing amount (and any voluntary committed amount in excess) may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

For awards that do not require matching or cost sharing by statute, recipients are not expected to provide cost sharing or matching. However, recipients are allowed to voluntarily propose a commitment of non-federal resources. If an applicant decides to voluntarily contribute non-federal resources towards project costs and the costs are accepted by ACF, the non-federal resources will be included in the approved project budget. The applicant will be held accountable for all proposed non-federal resources as shown in the Notice of Award (NOA). A recipient's failure to meet the voluntary amount of non-federal resources that was accepted by ACF as part of the approved project costs and that was identified in the approved budget in the NOA, may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Recipients will be required to report these funds in the Federal Financial Reports.

Justification: If an applicant is relying on cost share or match from a third-party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter(s) or other documentation) is required to be submitted with the application. Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Item 18. "Estimated Funding ($)" on the SF-424. 

Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s). In-kind contributions must be accompanied by a justification of how the stated valuation was determined. Matching or cost sharing must be documented by budget period (or by project period for fully funded awards).

Applications that lack the required supporting documentation will not be disqualified from competitive review; however, it may impact an application's scoring under the evaluation criteria in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement.

Construction

Description: Costs of construction or renovation by applicant or contractor/recipient.

Justification: Provide a separate detailed budget and narrative in accordance with the instructions for other object class categories. Identify which construction activities/costs will be contractual and those that the applicant will assume.

Program Income

Description: The estimated amount of gross income, if any, expected to be directly generated by or earned from this project. Program income includes but is not limited to, income from fees for services performed, the use or rental of real or personal property acquired under federally-funded projects, the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award, license fees and royalties on patents and copyrights, and interest on loans made with award funds. See 45 CFR § 75.307 for more information.

Justification: Describe the nature, source and anticipated use of program income in the budget or refer to the pages in the application that contain this information.

Paperwork Reduction Act Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 60 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection of information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 02/28/2022. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Application Submission Options

    Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

This section provides the application submission and receipt instructions for ACF program applications. Please read the following instructions carefully and completely.

Electronic Delivery
ACF is participating in the Grants.gov initiative to provide the grant community with a single site to find and apply for grant funding opportunities. ACF applicants are required to submit their applications online through Grants.gov.

How to Register and Apply through Grants.gov
Read the following instructions about registering to apply for ACF funds. Applicants should read the registration instructions carefully and prepare the information requested before beginning the registration process. Reviewing and assembling the required information before beginning the registration process will alleviate last-minute searches for required information.

The registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Organization applicants can find complete instructions here: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html

Obtain a DUNS Number: All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Applicants must enter the DUNS number in the data entry field labeled "Organizations DUNS" on the SF-424 form.

For more detailed instructions for obtaining a DUNS number, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-1-obtain-duns-number.html

Register with SAM: In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through Grants.gov must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM in order to apply online. Failure to register with SAM will prevent your organization from applying through Grants.gov.

For more detailed instructions for registering with SAM, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration/step-2-register-with-sam.html

Create a Grants.gov Account: The next step in the registration process is to create an account with Grants.gov. Applicants must know their organization's DUNS number to complete this process. Completing this process automatically triggers an email request for applicant roles to the organization's E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC) for review. The EBiz POC is a representative from your organization who is the contact listed for SAM. To apply for grants on behalf of your organization, you will need the AOR role.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration.html

Authorize Grants.gov Roles: After creating an account on Grants.gov, the EBiz POC receives an email notifying them of your registration and request for roles. The EBiz POC will then log in to Grants.gov and authorize the appropriate roles, which may include the AOR role, thereby giving you permission to complete and submit applications on behalf of your organization. You will be able to submit your application online any time after you have been approved as an AOR.

For more detailed instructions about creating a profile on Grants.gov. refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/authorize-roles.html

Track Role Status: To track your role request, refer to: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/registration/track-role-status.html


When applications are submitted through Grants.gov, the name of the organization's AOR that submitted the application is inserted into the signature line of the application, serving as the electronic signature. The EBiz POC must authorize individuals who are able to make legally binding commitment on behalf of the organization as an AOR; this step is often missed and it is crucial for valid and timely submissions.

How to Submit an Application to ACF via Grants.gov
Grants.gov applicants can apply online using Workspace. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of a grant team may simultaneously access and edit different webforms within an application. For each FOA, you can create individual instances of a workspace.

The following is an overview of applying via Grants.gov. For access to complete instructions on how to apply for opportunities, refer to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html 

Create a Workspace: Creating a workspace allows you to complete an application online and route it through your organization for review before submitting.

Complete a Workspace: Add participants to the workspace, complete all the required forms, and check for errors before submission.

Adobe Reader: If you decide not to apply by filling out webforms you can download individual PDF forms in Workspace so that they will appear similar to other Standard or ACF forms. The individual PDF forms can be downloaded and saved to your local device storage, network drive(s), or external drive(s), then accessed through Adobe Reader.

NOTE: Visit the Adobe Software Compatibility page on Grants.gov to download the appropriate version of the software at: 
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/adobe-software-compatibility.html

Mandatory Fields in Forms: In the forms, you will note fields marked with an asterisk and a different background color. These fields are mandatory fields that must be completed to successfully submit your application.

Complete SF-424 Fields First: The forms are designed to fill in common required fields across other forms, such as the applicant name, address, and DUNS number. To trigger this feature, an applicant must complete the SF-424 information first. Once it is completed, the information will transfer to the other forms.

Submit a Workspace: An application may be submitted through workspace by clicking the Sign and Submit button on the Manage Workspace page, under the Forms tab. Grants.gov recommends submitting your application at least 24-48 hours prior to the close date to provide you with time to correct any potential technical issues that may disrupt the application submission.

Track a Workspace: After successfully submitting a workspace package, a Grants.gov Tracking Number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) is automatically assigned to the package. The number will be listed on the Confirmation page that is generated after submission.

For additional training resources, including video tutorials, refer to:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-training.html

Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov. For questions related to the specific grant opportunity, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your submission, it is best to call the Grants.gov Support Center and get a ticket number. The Support Center ticket number will assist ACF with tracking your issue and understanding background information on the issue.

Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission
All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date established for each program. Proof of timely submission is automatically recorded by Grants.gov. An electronic date/time stamp is generated within the system when the application is successfully received by Grants.gov. The applicant AOR will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and a tracking number (GRANTXXXXXXXX) from Grants.gov with the successful transmission of their application. Applicant AORs will also receive the official date/stamp and Grants.gov Tracking number in an email serving as proof of their timely submission.

When ACF successfully retrieves the application from Grants.gov, and acknowledges the download of submission, Grants.gov will provide an electronic acknowledgment of receipt of the application to the email address of the applicant with the AOR role. Again, proof of timely submission shall be the official date and time that Grants.gov receives your application. Applications received by Grants.gov after the established due date for the program will be considered late and will not be considered for funding by ACF.

Applicants with slow internet, such as dial-up connections, should be aware that transmission can take some time before Grants.gov receives your application. Again, Grants.gov will provide either an error or a successfully received transmission in the form of an email sent to the applicant with the AOR role. The Grants.gov Support Center reports that some applicants end the transmission because they think that nothing is occurring during the transmission process. Please be patient and give the system time to process the application.

Issues with Federal Systems
For any systems issues experienced with Grants.gov or SAM.gov, please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Applicants Experiencing Federal Systems Issues” document for complete guidance at www.acf.hhs.gov /sites/default/files/assets/systems_issue_policy_final.pdf.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission
To request an exemption from required electronic submission please refer to ACF’s “Policy for Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission” document for complete guidance at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/acf_policy_for_requesting_an_exemption_from_required_electronic.pdf.

Paper Format Application Submission
An exemption is required for the submission of paper applications. See the preceding section on "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.7. of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions. Applications submitted in paper format must be received by 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date.

Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

All applicants must have a DUNS Number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov/SAM, https://www.sam.gov).

Obtaining a DUNS Number may take 1 to 2 days.

All applicants are required to maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If a grant is awarded, registration at SAM must be active throughout the life of the award.

Plan ahead. Allow at least 10 business days after you submit your registration for it to become active in SAM and at least an additional 24 hours before that registration information is available in other government systems, i.e. Grants.gov.

This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application through Grants.gov or prevent the award of a grant. Applicants should maintain documentation (with dates) of their efforts to register for, or renew a registration, at SAM. User Guides are available under the “Help” tab at https://www.sam.gov.

HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:   

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, ACF:

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.
IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

IV.4. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications:

FY 2020: 07/03/2020

FY 2021: 04/23/2021

FY 2022: 04/22/2022

 

 

Explanation of Due Dates

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section. See Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications
The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged.

Mailed Paper Format Applications
The deadline for receipt of mailed, paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications
Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.7.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be considered late and will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Hand-delivered paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

No appeals will be considered for applications classified as late under the following circumstances:

  • Applications submitted electronically via www.Grants.gov are considered late when they are dated and time-stamped after the deadline of 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date.
  • Paper format applications received by mail or hand-delivery after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be classified as late and will be disqualified.
  • Paper format applications received from applicant organizations that were not approved for an exemption from required electronic application submission under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Submission will be disqualified.

Emergency Extensions
ACF may extend an application due date when circumstances make it impossible for an applicant to submit their applications on time. Only events such as documented natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or a verifiable widespread disruption of electrical service, or mail service, will be considered. The determination to extend or waive the due date, and/or receipt time, requirements in an emergency situation rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s).

Acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov
Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov Tracking Number. Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time stamp, which serves as the official record of application's submission. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Applicants will also receive an email acknowledging that the received application is in the Grants.gov validation process, after which a third email is sent with the information that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, the series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged by ACF.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:
Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of receipt of a paper format application:

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

IV.5. Intergovernmental Review

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Intergovernmental_-Review-_SPOC_01_2018_OFFM.pdf.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 330 C St. SW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20201.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.6. Funding Restrictions

IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions are unallowable. Fund raising costs for the purposes of meeting the Federal program objectives are allowable with prior written approval from the Federal awarding agency. (45 CFR §75.442)

Proposal costs are the costs of preparing bids, proposals, or applications on potential Federal and non-Federal awards or projects, including the development of data necessary to support the non-Federal entity's bids or proposals. Proposal costs of the current accounting period of both successful and unsuccessful bids and proposals normally should be treated as indirect (F&A) costs and allocated currently to all activities of the non-Federal entity. No proposal costs of past accounting periods will be allocable to the current period. (45 CFR §75.460)

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.

Balloon payments for loans are not allowed.

Subawards are not permitted under projects receiving funds under this FOA.

Grant awards may not be used to capitalize loan loss reserve funds.

Organizations may receive a maximum of one new award per year under this FOA.

Please refer to Unallowable Property Costs on the ACF website at https​://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​ /grant​s​/real​-prope​rty​-and​-tangi​ble​-perso​nal​-prope​rty​#chapt​er​-9​ for more information. 

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

IV.7. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. Also see ACF Policy on Requesting an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission at www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto#chapter-6.

Submission By Mail

Tim Chappelle
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
1401 Mercantile Lane, Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774

Hand Delivery

Tim Chappelle
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
1401 Mercantile Lane, Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2. for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via www.Grants.gov.

For all submissions, see Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Please note: With the exception of the funding opportunity announcement and relevant statutes and regulations, reviewers will not access, or review, any materials that are not part of the application documents.  This includes information accessible on websites via hyperlinks that are referenced, or embedded, in the application.  Though an application may include web links, or embedded hyperlinks, reviewers will not review this information as it is not considered to be part of the application documents.  Nor will the information on websites be taken into consideration in scoring of evaluation criteria presented in this section. Reviewers will evaluate and score an application based on the documents that are presented in the application and will not refer to, or access, external links during the objective review.

Objectives and Need for Assistance Maximum Points:5

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the project’s goals and location are aligned with the program’s intent, and the application establishes a clear need for the project to achieve these goals, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Geographic Location, Need for Assistance, Objectives, and Expected Outcomes.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application demonstrates that the construction or non-construction project's goals and objectives for participant business development, job creation, and contribution to community revitalization align with community economic development efforts in the local community and the goals and objectives of the CED program. 
  • The application demonstrates that the project is needed to: 
    • Create or expand participating businesses and create new jobs,
    • Provide jobs in the community that low-income people can get and keep, and
    • Address barriers to self-sufficiency that are insufficiently addressed by other organizations/projects in the area. 
  • The application identifies ways in which the project can help address personal and community barriers that prevent individuals with low incomes from successfully obtaining and holding jobs or creating successful businesses in the community to be served. 
  • The application demonstrates that the proposed project will meet the program's objectives by successfully serving individuals with low incomes through the creation of employment and business opportunities within the project's service area. 
  • The application provides recent evidence (published within the past 5 years) from U.S. Census updates and other statistics published by federal, state, county, city, or other government bodies, that both the unemployment rate and the poverty rate within the project's service area are equal to, or greater than, the state or national level.
Business Plan - Project Viability Maximum Points:20

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates that the project has a high likelihood of success in terms of business and job creation, and whether the project is well-planned and ready to be implemented at time of award, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Project Sustainability Plan, Business Plan - Project Viability, Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information, and Third-Party Agreements.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application provides a clear and well-conceived overall approach to the project, with a sound project plan that: 
    • Is consistent with the expectations described in this FOA;
    • Describes how needs and proposed solutions to the identified barrier(s) within the community will be assessed, in order to demonstrate that the project will create positions that help address the unmet needs; and
    • Includes a realistic quarterly timeline with specific milestones to be achieved.
  • The application explains the basis for projected business earnings of the participating business(es), including demonstrating financial feasibility through pro forma, profit and loss statements, sources and uses of funds statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets from all business(es) that will be creating jobs.
  • The application provides recent market research and industry data (published within the past 5 years) that identifies critical industry risks and demonstrates that the participating business(es) will create positions in an industry with viable short- and long-term outlooks.
  • The application includes recent market research and industry data (published within the past 5 years) indicating that the participating business(es) will be viable in terms of competition, anticipated market, customer base, and market trends.
  • The application includes a sound and feasible recruitment strategy and tracking system to obtain and document referrals of low-income individuals for employment in at least 75 percent of the jobs created by the project.
  • The application includes signed agreements with social service providers (e.g., TANF, child support, etc.) that demonstrate partnerships to obtain referrals of low-income individuals for employment.
  • The application indicates that positions will be sustained for at least 1 year after the end of the grant period, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Project Sustainability Plan and The Project Description, Business Plan – Project Viability.
  • The application describes how any confidential or sensitive information (e.g., background investigations) from staff or project participants and/or project beneficiaries will be collected and protected during the course of the project, and how this information will be disposed of after the grant has ended, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Protection of Sensitive and/or Confidential Information.
Business Plan - Project Implementation Maximum Points:20

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates that all necessary resources (e.g., facilities, personnel, etc.) will be available to implement the project at the time of the award, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Oversight of Federal Funds and Activities, Business Plan - Project Implementation, and Third-Party Agreements.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which draft copies of the loan agreement(s), which includes the elements outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Business Plan – Project Implementation and Third-Party Agreements:

  • Demonstrates that all of the activities to be funded by the award are necessary for the success of the project and are consistent with the project's scope, scale, and expected outcomes.
  • Identifies how the proposed project is aligned with local and/or regional community, economic, and/or workforce development strategies and addresses the barriers outlined in the application.
  • Demonstrates that the staffing, facilities, equipment, supplies, and funding to support each activity have been identified AND are reasonable.
  • Identifies any competing activities being undertaken by the applicant or project partners that might reduce the availability of the resources for this project.
  • Demonstrates that the applicant or the participating business is in control of the site and facilities necessary for the success of the project, or that site control is conditioned only on the receipt of the grant award. Documentation demonstrating site control must include specific property location (i.e., address, city, and state) and be in the form of a signed and dated deed or lease agreement between the applicant and property owner; or documentation in the agreement of the terms of the agreement, use of premises, and description of the site (e.g., prior use or new property, square footage, and use of space for the project). 
  • Identifies staff that will be responsible for maintaining oversight of program activities, staff, and partner(s), and describes procedures and policies used to oversee staff and/or partners/contractors, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Plan for Oversight of Federal Funds and Activities

 For projects with equity or stock investments, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application identifies the investment and demonstrates that any equity stock investment agreement with a participating business includes the following: 
    • An explanation of the purpose(s) for which the applicant will make the equity stock investment;
    • The type of equity stock transaction (e.g., stock purchase);
    • The cost-per-share and basis upon which the applicant derived the cost-per-share;
    • The number of shares the applicant will purchase;
    • The percentage of applicant ownership in the business;
    • The term or duration of the agreement; and
    • Information regarding compliance concerning intangible property.

 For projects with loans, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  • The application describes the initial loan(s) to be made from the grant including:
    • The name of the specific participating business(es) receiving the loans, the type(s) of business(es), and the business development plans;
    • Information regarding compliance with all terms and conditions of the grant award; and
    • Draft copies of the loan agreement(s), which include the elements outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Business Plan – Project Implementation and Third-Party Agreements.
  • The application describes strategies to ensure that all loans, either initial loans or subsequent future loans, will go to eligible grantees for business development activities.
  • The application demonstrates that re-payment will begin during the course of the funded project. 
  • The application describes how the construction and non-construction activities are separated.
Business Plan - Barrier Reduction to Help Employees Achieve Self-Sufficiency Maximum Points:10

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates sound and reasonable financial strategies that have a high likelihood of leading to the success of the project, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Business Plan - Barrier Reduction to Help Employees Achieve Self-Sufficiency and Third-Party Agreements.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application includes the number and types of new permanent, full-time positions that will be created and demonstrates how that will allow families to achieve self-sufficiency by providing competitive starting wages. To demonstrate that wages will support families in achieving self-sufficiency, the application should:
    • Clearly identify wages that will be paid to those who fill the positions created by the participating business(es).
    • Present data published within the past 5 years by a reputable source that illustrates the wages to be paid are adequate for family self-sufficiency within the geographic area in which the business(es) will be located. 
  • The application provides evidence of the leave policies of participating businesses, and that these policies clearly demonstrate that paid leave is provided to those who fill the positions created by the participating business(es).
  • The application includes detailed descriptions of the benefits that will be provided to employees of the participating businesses. Such benefits could include health insurance, retirement benefits, transit benefits, child care, or other fringe benefits.
  • The application describes how the participating businesses will support individuals with low incomes in achieving career growth and advancement, including any training, educational, or certification opportunities employees will be provided by participating businesses or other project partners.
  • The application clearly describes the scheduling policies of participating businesses, and that these policies indicate that the participating businesses will provide sufficient, stable, and predictable working hours and/or flexibility needed to care for family members, pursue training or educational opportunities, and address other personal matters.
Business Plan - Past Performance with Similar Job Creation Projects Maximum Points:5

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates that the applicant has past experience with similar projects, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Business Plan – Past Performance with Similar Job Creation Projects. Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application demonstrates that the applicant and all partner organizations have the experience necessary to successfully carry out the proposed project, including evidence of two business creation or business expansion projects undertaken by the applicant that 
    • have been executed within the past 10 years;
    • are substantially similar to the project for which CED funding is being requested; and
    • were successful in creating sustainable, full-time, full-year positions. 
  • The application provides a quantitative and qualitative description of the jobs created through past business creation or expansion projects. This should include:  
    • descriptions of the positions created, including information on wages and benefits;
    • descriptions of how the jobs allowed persons to leave public assistance programs or similar supports; and
    • information on the long-term sustainability of the positions created.  
Organizational Capacity Maximum Points:10

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates that the organization, staff, and project partners have sufficient overall experience to carry out the project, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Organizational Capacity.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application demonstrates that the organization, its staff, and its project partners have sufficient overall experience to successfully implement the proposed project, including relevant experience and success in developing and operating businesses similar to those to be conducted under the proposed project. If one or more project partners are involved, the application demonstrates that the combined capacity of the applicant and the partner organizations is sufficient to successfully implement the proposed project.
  • The Board of Directors for the governing organization includes representation from the community in which the proposed project will be located.
  • The application includes a resolution, meeting minutes, or other documentation demonstrating that the majority of the Board of Directors has granted board approval for the proposed project.
  • For applicants that cannot demonstrate substantial experience with economic development projects similar to those proposed in the application, the extent to which the application provides evidence of a viable partnership with a more experienced partner, including evidence of a workable strategy for the more experienced partner (as defined in Section I. Program Description) to provide the administrative, technical, and/or financial technical assistance needed to ensure the success of the project.  The application includes signed agreements that:  
    • clearly outline the role of the project partner and describe the relationship between the applicant and the project partner;
    • demonstrate all project partners that will be responsible for directly or indirectly spending CED funds are financially viable and have the capacity to responsibly manage any federal funds awarded under the application through a financial management system that complies with the terms and conditions of the grant award, and other application requirements outlined Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Organizational Capacity.    
  • The application demonstrates, through biographical sketches, degree information, resumes, and descriptions of previous project experience, that the identified staff are qualified to carry out the proposed project. 
  • The application demonstrates that key staff have the appropriate time commitment available and experience in supervision, finance and business development and management, and working with the target population. The discussion of staff experience must include sufficient detail on whether individuals' skills and experience demonstrate an ability to fulfill the tasks assigned to them.
  • The application states clearly whether all key project staff positions are filled. In cases where a key staff person has not yet been hired, the application demonstrates that an appropriate position description, recruitment strategy, and estimated hiring timeline have been developed.
Letters of Support Maximum Points:5

In reviewing this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates sufficient public support to successfully carry out the project, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Letters of Support.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which:  

  • The application includes letters of support from local or regional government agencies or community organizations that describe: 
    • any specific relationship the supporter has to the applicant;
    • knowledge of the applicant's experience and qualifications in business and job creation; and
    • any in-kind or financial contributions to the project, if applicable.
Project Budget and Budget Justification Information Maximum Points:20

In reviewing the Project Budget and Budget Justification, reviewers will consider the extent to which the budget for the project demonstrates that the applicant has sufficient funds available (i.e., conditioned only on the receipt of this grant award) and that the planned expenditures are necessary, appropriate, and reasonable for the success of the project, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Budget and Budget Justification and Plan for Oversight of Federal Funds and Activities.

Specifically, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application demonstrates that the amount of funds available for the project (CED and non-CED) is commensurate with the level of effort necessary to accomplish the activities, goals, and objectives of the project.
  • The application clearly demonstrates that the financial estimates are grounded in solid assumptions and demonstrates the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs to carry out the activities proposed in the application.
  • The application includes a budget and budget justification that clearly links the proposed expenditures to the proposed activities necessary for accomplishing the project.
  • The application's budget narrative demonstrates, in sufficient detail for a reviewer to evaluate the appropriateness and reasonableness of the line items proposed, that the proposed budget is appropriate for accomplishing the proposed project.
  • The application provides sources and uses of funds documentation for both CED and non-CED funding sources (if applicable) necessary to implement the project along with an itemization of expenses by funding source.
  • The application budget demonstrates program income is not necessary to meet the funding needs for implementation of the project design.
  • The application convincingly demonstrates that the CED cost per position created is equal to or less than the ratio found by dividing the requested award amount by $25,000 for construction projects or $20,000 for non-construction projects.
  • The application includes a plan that demonstrates the applicant's capacity to responsibly manage the proposed federal funds and to adequately protect any federal funds awarded under the application through a financial management system, as outlined in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission, The Project Description, Plan for Oversight of Federal Award Funds and Activities.
  • The application demonstrates that the budget includes funds for all required items, including travel for one staff member to attend a training and technical assistance conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the grant and, if the applicant is partnering with an experienced CDC, funds to cover the costs of this support (e.g., travel costs, payments to cover staff time, etc.). 

For projects that involve non-CED funding to carry out the project, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application provides evidence that all capital requirements have been met through financing, cash resources, or in-kind contributions.
  • The application demonstrates evidence (e.g., signed commitment letters) of unconditional commitments for loans; municipal, federal, or state tax credits; equity stock investments; or other supporting grants totaling at least the amount of non-CED funds necessary.
  • The application provides evidence (e.g., a financial statement of cash available) of the applicant's ability to contribute any non-CED cash resources that are needed for the project and that the applicant has pledged in support of the project.  
  • The application provides evidence of in-kind contributions of personal property and a demonstration of how the value of those contributions was established through techniques, such as an inventory valuation for equipment and/or a certified appraisal for real property. 

For projects with only CED funding, reviewers will consider the extent to which:

  • The application demonstrates the applicant’s ability to carry out a successful project and accomplish its goals with only CED funds. 

For construction projects, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • The application demonstrates that financial plans include all construction costs and that all costs are appropriately justified as reasonable and necessary to carry out the activities proposed in the application.
Project Integration Maximum Points:5

To evaluate the Project Integration criterion, reviewers will consider the extent to which all the application criteria elements are aligned; i.e., how effectively the Need for Assistance, Objectives, Business Plan, and Project Budget and Budget Justification all fit together. This criterion does not measure any element of the application in isolation; it is used to assess how well all the components of the application relate to each other to form a cohesive, carefully planned project.

To evaluate this section, reviewers will consider the extent to which: 

  • There are any significant incongruences between any sections of the application that would need to be resolved prior to effective project implementation.
  • The completion of the project will effectively lead to creation or expansion of businesses and result in the creation of the jobs proposed in the application.
  • The applicant demonstrated that creation and/or expansion of the participating business(es) and the creation of these jobs will address the issues and barriers identified in the Objectives and Need for Assistance criterion.
  • The applicant clearly described a logical approach with a realistic time frame and identified the resources necessary to achieve the project goals proposed in the application.
  • The budget expenditures closely correlate with the objectives and activities proposed in the Business Plan.
Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Alignment with the Opportunity Zones Initiative Maximum Points:2

In considering the award of bonus points under this criterion, reviewers will take into consideration whether the application demonstrates that the proposed project will be located in designated target areas that align with and benefit the selectee(s) of the Opportunity Zones Initiative. The application must provide a signed letter of support documenting the extent of involvement/collaboration with any partners and clearly outline roles and responsibilities and any support and/or resources to be provided as a result of the partnership.

More information about this program is available in the Definition of Terms in Section I.Program Description.  Opportunity Zones have now been designated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 5 territories. The U.S. Treasury Department has developed a list of Opportunity Zones. To receive credit, applicants must identify the Opportunity Zone that will benefit the CED project from the list.

Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: CED Project Located in Rural Communities with High Rates of Poverty, Unemployment, and Substance Use Disorder Maximum Points:2

In considering the award of bonus points under this criterion, reviewers will consider the extent to which the application demonstrates evidence that the proposed project is in rural areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment, or substance use disorder, and whether it will create jobs in a rural community (as defined by OMB) or hire low-income individuals from a rural community to fill positions created. OMB designates counties as Metropolitan, Micropolitan, or Neither. A Metropolitan area contains a core urban area population of 50,000 or more, and a Micropolitan area contains an urban core population of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000). All counties that are not part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area are considered rural, or Neither.

Metropolitan counties are considered non-Metropolitan or rural along with all counties that are classified as Neither. For more information on Metropolitan areas, visit https​://www​.censu​s​.gov​/progr​ams​-surve​ys​/metro​-micro​/about​.html​.

Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Project Located in a County with Persistent Poverty Maximum Points:2

In considering the award of bonus points under this criterion, reviewers will take into consideration the extent to which the application demonstrates evidence that the proposed project will create jobs in a county with persistent poverty as identified by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) listed in Appendix B: Persistent Poverty Counties. Areas that are not in a USDA ERS-identified persistent poverty county may qualify for bonus points if applicants can provide data demonstrating that the area to be served by the project has had a poverty rate of 20 percent or more for the past 30 years, as measured by the United States Census Bureau’s decennial census, visit https​://www​.censu​s​.gov​/data​/devel​opers​/data​-sets​/decen​nial​-censu​s​.html​.

 

Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: Alignment with the Promise Zones Initiative Maximum Points:2

In considering the award of bonus points under this criterion, reviewers will take into consideration whether the application demonstrates that the proposed project will be located in a designated target area that aligns with and will benefit the selectee(s) of the Promise Zone Initiative (see Appendix C for a list of current Promise Zone selectees).

Bonus Points - Underserved Areas: States of Trust Territories without Active CED Grants Maximum Points:2

In considering the award of bonus points under this criterion, reviewers will take into consideration whether the application demonstrates that the proposed project will be located in a state or trust territory that does not have an active CED project (as listed below). 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Delaware
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
V.2. Review and Selection Process

V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.  No grant award will be made to an applicant or sub-recipient that does not have a DUNS number (http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform) and an active registration at SAM (www.sam.gov). See Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM).

Initial ACF Screening
Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets any of the disqualification factors described in Section III.3. Other, Application Disqualification Factors.

Disqualified applications are considered to be “non-responsive” and are excluded from the competitive review process. Applicants will be notified of a disqualification determination by email or by USPS postal mail within 30 federal business days from the closing date of this FOA.

Objective Review and Results
Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using only the criteria described in Section V.1. Criteria of this announcement. Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding. Scores and rankings are only one element used in the award decision-making process. ACF reserves the right to evaluate applications in the larger context of the overall portfolio by considering geographic distribution of federal funds (e.g., ensuring coverage of states, counties, or service areas) in its pre-award decisions. 

ACF may elect not to fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. Applications may be funded in whole or in part. Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested. 

OCS Internal Review of Applications

Based on the ranked order of applications, OCS staff will perform an internal review and analysis of the most qualified applications in order to determine their consistency with the purpose of the CED program, all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements, and the requirements of this FOA. The OCS Director has discretion to make all final funding decisions. 

Because other important factors are taken into consideration, highly ranked applications are not guaranteed funding. Other factors considered may include the applicant’s timely and successful completion of projects funded with CED funds within the last 5 years; projects proposed in areas with recent major disasters as declared by the President of the United States; comments of reviewers and government officials; CED staff evaluation and input;  amount and duration of the grant requested; likelihood that the project is sustainable and will continue beyond federal assistance, and the proposed project is consistent and compliant with CED goals and policy; the applicant’s compliance with grant terms and conditions under previously awarded HHS grants; audit reports; investigative reports; and the applicant's progress in resolving any final audit  or other disallowance on previous CED or other federal agency grants. OCS may also elect not to fund applications that do not clearly demonstrate that all required third-party financing for the proposed project is in place and contingent only on the receipt of CED funds. 

Grant awards are made based on the availability of appropriated funds and may be awarded in amounts greater than or less than the amount requested, or under circumstances that are in the best interest of the federal government. Applicants may be required to reduce or modify the scope of projects based on the amount of the approved award. Grant awards shall be disbursed based on the allowability and reasonableness of the expenditures and successful implementations included in the business plan that are supported by the milestones. 

Please refer to Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission of this FOA for information on non-federal reviewers in the review process.

Federal Financial Review  

The ACF Office of Grants Management will also perform an internal review of all property requests and documentation submitted to assess that costs comply with federal regulations and FOA requirements.  ACF reserves the right to request any additional information (e.g., lease agreements, encumbrance documents, etc.) to ascertain allowability and may reduce the budget due to unallowable costs.

Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants

As required by 2 CFR Part 200, the Uniform Guidance, effective January 1, 2016, ACF is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), www.fapiis.gov/, before making any award in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000) over the period of performance. An applicant may review and comment on any information about itself that a federal awarding agency has previously entered into FAPIIS. ACF will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR § 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants (http://www.ecfr.gov/ cgi-bin/text-idx?node=se2.1.200_1205&rgn=div8).

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval in the objective review process, but not selected for award, may receive funding if additional funds become available or may compete for funding during the next review cycle (if one occurs in the next fiscal year). Applications designated as “approved but unfunded” typically cannot be kept in an active status for more than 12 months. For those applications determined as “approved but unfunded,” notice will be given of the determination by email.

 
 

V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Federal Award Dates

Announcement of awards and the disposition of applications will be provided to applicants at a later date. ACF staff cannot respond to requests for information regarding funding decisions prior to the official applicant notification. 

VI. Federal Award Administration Information

VI.1. Federal Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NoA) that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The NoA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail, email, or by GrantSolutions.gov or the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES), whichever is relevant. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance.

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions

Grantees may translate the Federal award and other documents into another language. In the event of inconsistency between any terms and conditions of the Federal award and any translation into another language, the English language meaning will control. Where a significant portion of the grantee’s employees who are working on the Federal award are not fluent in English, the grantee must provide the Federal award in English and in the language(s) with which employees are more familiar.

 

VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at www.ecfr.gov. Unless otherwise noted in this section, administrative and national policy requirements that are applicable to discretionary grants are available at: www.acf.hhs.gov/administrative-and-national-policy-requirements.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements. ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements. The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Notice of Award (NOA). The HHS GPS is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-1.


An application funded with the release of federal funds through a grant award does not constitute, or imply, compliance with federal regulations. Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable federal regulations. 

 

VI.3. Reporting

 
Performance Progress Reports: Semi-Annually

Recipients under this FOA will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. Information on reporting requirements is available on the ACF website at www.acf.hhs.gov/discretionary-post-award-requirements#chapter-2.

For planning purposes, the frequency of required reporting for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

CED Performance Progress Reports

(OMB: 0970-0386): Semi-Annually

Grantees under this FOA will also be required to use the CED program-specific Performance Progress Report (PPR) to submit performance progress reports on a semi-annual basis.

Information on CED PPR reporting requirements is available on the OCS website at https://www​.acf​.hhs​.gov​/oc​s/resou​rce​/ced​-ppr​-forms​-and​-instr​uctio​ns​.

The CED PPR information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0386, which expires 02/28/2023. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Post-Award Facilities Requirement

It is expected that, for all facility related projects, the applicable OMB approved SF-429 forms (e.g., SF-429 Cover Page, SF-429 Attachment A – Annual General Report, SF-429 Attachment B – Acquire or Improve Request, and SF-429 Attachment C – Disposition and Encumbrance Request) will be submitted along with supporting documents in the GrantSolutions OLDC system. For more information, please see ACF​ Prope​rty​ Guida​nce​, ACF​ Real​ Prope​rty​ Guida​nce​, and Real​ Prope​rty​ Prior​ Appro​vals​.

VII. HHS Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Program Office Contact

Gerald Shanklin
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
OCS Operations Center
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
1401 Mercantile Lane, Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774
Phone: 1-855-792-6551
Email: ocstech@reviewops.org
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Tim Chappelle
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
OCS Operations Center
HHS-2020-ACF-OCS-EE-1803
1401 Mercantile Lane, Suite 401
Largo, MD 20774
Phone: 1-855-792-6551
Email: ocstech@reviewops.org
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service (FedRelay) at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) www.acf.hhs.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunities Forecast www.grants.gov/.

ACF Funding Opportunity Announcements ami.grantsolutions.gov/.

ACF "How To Apply For A Grant" https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/howto.

ACF Property Guidance https://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/real-property-and-tangible-personal-property

Grants.gov Accessibility Information www.grants.gov/ web/grants/accessibility-compliance.html.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  http://www.ecfr.gov/.

United States Code (U.S.C.)  http://uscode.house.gov/.

 

Application Checklist

 

Applicants may use this checklist as a guide when preparing an application package.

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

SF-424A - Budget Information - Non- Construction Programs and SF-424B - Assurances - Non- Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

These forms are available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section. 
They are required for applications that include only non-construction activities. 

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

 

SF-424C - Budget Information - Construction Programs

and

SF-424D - Assurances - Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

For electronic application submission, these forms are available on the FOA's
Grants.gov "Download Opportunity Instructions and Application" page under
"Download Application Package" in the section entitled, "Mandatory."

Also available at http​://www​. grant​s​.gov​/ web​/ grant​s​/ forms​.html​
by using the link to "SF-424 Family."

These forms are required for applications under this FOA:

  • Projects that include only construction activities must submit the
    SF-424C and SF424D, along with the SF-424 and SF-P/PSL.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in
Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

If submission of this form is applicable, it is due at the time of application. 


If it not available at the time of application, it may also be submitted prior to the
award of a grant.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. 

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification Regarding Lobbying
(Grants.gov Lobbying Form)

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application package or prior to the award of a grant.

SF-424 Key Contact Form

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due with the application by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Unique Entity Identifier (DUNS) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Referenced in Section IV.3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) in the announcement.

To obtain a DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier), go to http​://fedgo​v​.dnb​.com​/webfo​rm​.

To register at SAM, go to http​://www​.sam​.gov​.

A DUNS number (Unique Entity Identifier) and registration at SAM.gov are required for all applicants.

Active registration at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and project award period.

SF-Project/Performance Site Location(s) (SF-P/PSL)

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

This form is available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424A  Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs / SF-424B  Assurances - Non-Construction Programs and SF-424C - Budget Information Construction Programs / SF-424D - Assurances Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications.

These forms are available in the FOA's forms package at www​.Grant​s​.gov​ in the Mandatory section. 

All forms are required for applications under this FOA for projects that include both non-construction and construction activities. 

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submit with the application by the due date found in the
Overview
and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities" 

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 at https​://www​.white​house​.gov​/wp​-conte​nt​/uploa​ds​/2017​/11​/Inter​gover​nment​al_​-Revie​w​-_SPOC​_01_2​018_O​FFM​.pdf​ as indicated in Section IV.5. Intergovernmental Review of this announcement.  

Submission of application materials is due to SPOC by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Mandatory Grant Disclosure

Requirement, submission instructions, and mailing addresses are found in the "Mandatory Grant Disclosure"  in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances and Certifications.

If applicable, concurrent submission to the Administration for Children and Families and to the Office of the Inspector General is required.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification.

Submission is required in addition to submission of SF-424A and / or SF-424C.


Submission is required with the application package by the due date in the Overview and in Section IV.4. Submission Dates and Times.

Appendix

Appendix A 

Sample Chart of Cost per Job Created 

Applicants will agree to create at least the minimum number of jobs for the amount of the requested award equal to the ratio found by dividing the requested award by $25,000 for construction projects or $20,000 for non-construction projects. Example of cost per job created follows in the chart below. 

 

Award Amount

    Jobs for Construction            Projects

   Jobs for Non-Construction       Projects

 100,000

    At least 4 jobs

    At least 5 jobs

 200,000

    At least 8 jobs

    At least 10 jobs

 300,000

    At least 12 jobs

    At least 15 jobs

 400,000

    At least 16 jobs

    At least 20 jobs

 500,000

    At least 20 jobs

    At least 25 jobs

 600,000

    At least 24 jobs

    At least 30 jobs

 700,000

    At least 28 jobs

    At least 35 jobs

 800,000

    At least 32 jobs

    At least 40 jobs

                                                                                                           
                                                                    Appendix B 
 
                                                       Persistent Poverty Counties 
       

 

State

 

County

 

AL

 

 Barbour County

 

AL

 

Bullock County

 

AL

 

Butler County

 

AL

 

Choctaw County

 

AL

 

Clarke County

 

AL

 

Conecuh County

 

AL

 

Dallas County

 

AL

 

Escambia County

 

AL

 

Greene County

AL

Hale County

 

AL

 

Lowndes County

 

AL

 

Macon County

 

AL

 

Marengo County

 

AL

 

Monroe County

 

AL

 

Perry County

 

AL

 

Pickens County

 

AL

 

Pike County

 

AL

 

Sumter County

 

AL

 

Wilcox County

 

AK

 

Wade Hampton Census Area

 

AK

 

Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

 

AZ

 

Apache County

 

AZ

 

Navajo County

 

AR

 

Bradley County

AR

Chicot County

 

AR

 

Columbia County

 

AR

 

Crittenden County

 

AR

 

Desha County

 

AR

 

Jefferson County

 

AR

 

Lafayette County

 

AR

 

Lee County

 

AR

 

Mississippi County

 

AR

 

Monroe County

 

AR

 

Nevada County

 

AR

 

Newton County

 

AR

 

Phillips County

 

AR

 

Poinsett County

 

AR

 

St. Francis County

 

AR

 

Searcy County

AR

Woodruff County

 

CO

 

Alamosa County

 

CO

 

Costilla County

 

CO

 

Saguache County

 

FL

 

Alachua County

 

FL

 

Hamilton County

 

FL

 

Hardee County

 

FL

 

Madison County

 

GA

 

Atkinson County

 

GA

 

Bacon County

 

GA

 

Baker County

 

GA

 

Ben Hill County

 

GA

 

Brooks County

 

GA

 

Bulloch County

 

GA

 

Burke County

 

GA

 

Calhoun County

 

GA

 

Clarke County

 

GA

 

Clay County

 

GA

 

Clinch County

 

GA

 

Crisp County

 

GA

 

Decatur County

 

GA

 

Dooly County

 

GA

 

Dougherty County

 

GA

 

Early County

 

GA

 

Emanuel County

 

GA

 

Evans County

 

GA

 

Grady County

 

GA

 

Greene County

 

GA

 

Hancock County

 

GA

 

Jefferson County

 

GA

 

Jenkins County

 

 

GA

Johnson County

 

GA

 

Macon County

 

GA

 

Marion County

 

GA

 

Mitchell County

 

GA

 

Peach County

 

GA

 

Quitman County

 

GA

 

Randolph County

 

GA

 

Screven County

 

GA

 

Seminole County

 

GA

 

Stewart County

 

GA

 

Sumter County

 

GA

 

Talbot County

 

GA

 

Taliaferro County

 

GA

 

Tattnall County

 

GA

 

Taylor County

 

 

GA

Telfair County

 

GA

 

Terrell County

 

GA

 

Toombs County

 

GA

 

Treutlen County

 

GA

 

Turner County

 

GA

 

Ware County

 

GA

 

Warren County

 

GA

 

Washington County

 

GA

 

Wheeler County

 

GA

 

Wilcox County

 

ID

 

Madison County

 

IL

 

Alexander County

 

IL

 

Jackson County

 

IL

 

Pulaski County

 

KY

 

Bath County

 

 

KY

Bell County

 

KY

 

Breathitt County

 

KY

 

Casey County

 

KY

 

Clay County

 

KY

 

Clinton County

 

KY

 

Cumberland County

 

KY

 

Elliott County

 

KY

 

Estill County

 

KY

 

Floyd County

 

KY

 

Fulton County

 

KY

 

Harlan County

 

KY

 

Hart County

 

KY

 

Jackson County

 

KY

 

Johnson County

 

KY

 

Knott County

 

KY

 

Knox County

 

KY

 

Laurel County

 

KY

 

Lawrence County

 

KY

 

Lee County

 

KY

 

Leslie County

 

KY

 

Letcher County

 

KY

 

Lewis County

 

KY

 

Lincoln County

 

KY

 

McCreary County

 

KY

 

Magoffin County

 

KY

 

Martin County

 

KY

 

Menifee County

 

KY

 

Monroe County

 

KY

 

Morgan County

 

KY

 

Owsley County

 

KY

 

Perry County

 

KY

 

Powell County

 

KY

 

Robertson County

 

KY

 

Rockcastle County

 

KY

 

Rowan County

 

KY

 

Russell County

 

KY

 

Wayne County

 

KY

 

Whitley County

 

KY

 

Wolfe County

 

LA

 

Acadia Parish

 

LA

 

Avoyelles Parish

 

LA

 

Bienville Parish

 

LA

 

Catahoula Parish

 

LA

 

Claiborne Parish

 

LA

 

Concordia Parish

 

LA

 

East Carroll Parish

 

LA

 

East Feliciana Parish

 

LA

 

Evangeline Parish

 

LA

 

Franklin Parish

 

LA

 

Lincoln Parish

 

LA

 

Madison Parish

 

LA

 

Morehouse Parish

 

LA

 

Natchitoches Parish

 

LA

 

Orleans Parish

 

LA

 

Ouachita Parish

 

LA

 

Red River Parish

 

LA

 

Richland Parish

 

LA

 

Sabine Parish

 

LA

 

St. Helena Parish

 

LA

 

St. Landry Parish

 

LA

 

Tangipahoa Parish

 

LA

 

Tensas Parish

 

LA

 

Washington Parish

 

LA

 

West Carroll Parish

 

LA

 

Winn Parish

 

MD

 

Baltimore City

 

MS

 

Adams County

 

MS

 

Amite County

 

MS

 

Attala County

 

MS

 

Benton County

 

MS

 

Bolivar County

 

MS

 

Chickasaw County

 

MS

 

Choctaw County

 

MS

 

Claiborne County

 

MS

 

Clarke County

 

MS

 

Clay County

 

 

MS

Coahoma County

 

MS

 

Copiah County

 

MS

 

Covington County

 

MS

 

Forrest County

 

MS

 

Franklin County

 

MS

 

Grenada County

 

MS

 

Holmes County

 

MS

 

Humphreys County

 

MS

 

Issaquena County

 

MS

 

Jasper County

 

MS

 

Jefferson County

 

MS

 

Jefferson Davis County

 

MS

 

Kemper County

 

MS

 

Lafayette County

 

MS

 

Lauderdale County

 

 

MS

Leake County

 

MS

 

Leflore County

 

MS

 

Lowndes County

 

MS

 

Marion County

 

MS

 

Marshall County

 

MS

 

Montgomery County

 

 

MS

 

Neshoba County

 

MS

 

Noxubee County

 

MS

 

Oktibbeha County

 

MS

 

Panola County

 

MS

 

Pike County

 

MS

 

Quitman County

 

MS

 

Scott County

 

MS

 

Sharkey County

 

MS

 

Simpson County

 

 

MS

Sunflower County

 

MS

 

Tallahatchie County

 

MS

 

Tunica County

 

MS

 

Walthall County

 

MS

 

Washington County

 

MS

 

Wayne County

 

MS

 

Wilkinson County

 

MS

 

Winston County

 

MS

 

Yalobusha County

 

MS

 

Yazoo County

 

MO

 

Carter County

 

 

MO

 

Dunklin County

 

MO

 

Mississippi County

 

MO

 

New Madrid County

 

MO

 

Oregon County

 

 

 

MO

Pemiscot County

 

MO

 

Reynolds County

 

MO

 

Ripley County

 

MO

 

Shannon County

 

MO

 

Texas County

 

MO

 

Washington County

 

MO

 

Wayne County

 

MO

 

Wright County

 

MO

 

St. Louis City

 

MT

 

Big Horn County

 

MT

 

Blaine County

 

MT

 

Glacier County

 

MT

 

Golden Valley County

 

NE

 

Thurston County

 

NM

 

Cibola County

 

NM

 

Dona Ana County

 

NM

 

Guadalupe County

 

NM

 

Luna County

 

NM

 

McKinley County

 

NM

 

Roosevelt County

 

NM

 

San Miguel County

 

NM

 

Socorro County

 

NM

 

Taos County

 

NY

 

Bronx County

 

NY

 

Kings County

 

NC

 

Bertie County

 

NC

 

Bladen County

 

NC

 

Columbus County

 

NC

 

Halifax County

 

NC

 

Martin County

 

NC

 

Northampton County

 

NC

 

Pitt County

 

NC

 

Robeson County

 

NC

 

Tyrrell County

 

NC

 

Washington County

 

ND

 

Benson County

 

 

ND

 

Rolette County

 

ND

 

Sioux County

 

OH

 

Athens County

 

OK

 

Adair County

 

OK

 

Caddo County

 

OK

 

Cherokee County

 

OK

 

Choctaw County

 

OK

 

Coal County

 

OK

 

Harmon County

 

OK

 

Hughes County

 

OK

 

Johnston County

 

OK

 

McCurtain County

 

OK

 

Okfuskee County

 

OK

 

Pushmataha County

 

OK

 

Tillman County

 

PA

 

Philadelphia County

 

SC

 

Allendale County

 

SC

 

Bamberg County

 

SC

 

Clarendon County

 

SC

 

Colleton County

 

SC

 

Dillon County

 

SC

 

Hampton County

 

SC

 

Jasper County

 

SC

 

Lee County

 

SC

 

Marion County

 

SC

 

Marlboro County

 

SC

 

Orangeburg County

 

SC

 

Williamsburg County

 

SD

 

Bennett County

 

SD

 

Buffalo County

 

SD

 

Charles Mix County

 

SD

 

Corson County

 

SD

 

Dewey County

 

SD

 

Jackson County

 

SD

 

Mellette County

 

SD

 

Roberts County

 

SD

 

Shannon County

 

SD

 

Todd County

 

SD

 

Ziebach County

 

TN

 

Campbell County

 

TN

 

Claiborne County

 

TN

 

Cocke County

 

TN

 

Fentress County

 

TN

 

Grundy County

 

TN

 

Hancock County

 

TN

 

Johnson County

 

TN

 

Lake County

 

TN

 

Scott County

 

TX

 

Bee County

 

TX

 

Brazos County

 

TX

 

Brooks County

 

TX

 

Cameron County

 

TX

 

Crosby County

 

TX

 

Dimmit County

 

TX

 

Duval County

TX

Edwards County

 

TX

 

El Paso County

 

TX

 

Falls County

 

TX

 

Floyd County

 

TX

 

Frio County

 

TX

 

Hall County

 

TX

 

Hidalgo County

 

TX

 

Houston County

 

TX

 

Hudspeth County

 

TX

 

Jim Wells County

 

TX

 

Karnes County

 

TX

 

Kinney County

 

TX

 

Kleberg County

 

TX

 

Lamb County

 

TX

 

La Salle County

 

TX

 

McCulloch County

 

TX

 

Marion County

 

TX

 

Maverick County

 

TX

 

Presidio County

 

TX

 

Real County

 

TX

 

Reeves County

 

TX

 

Robertson County

 

TX

 

San Augustine County

 

TX

 

Starr County

 

TX

 

Uvalde County

 

TX

 

Val Verde County

 

TX

 

Webb County

 

TX

 

Willacy County

 

TX

 

Zapata County

 

TX 

 

Zavala County

 

UT

 

San Juan County

 

VA

 

Lee County

 

 VA

 

  Northampton County

 

WV

 

Braxton County

 

WV

 

 Calhoun County

 

WV

 

Clay County

 

WV

 

Gilmer County

 

WV

 

Lincoln County

 

WV

 

McDowell County

 

WV

 

Mingo County

 

 WV

 

Webster County

 

 

Appendix C

 

Promise Zone Selectees

Location

Program

Lead Grantee/Applicant Organization

Atlanta, GA

Promise Zone

 City of Atlanta, Department of Planning and   Community Development

Camden, NJ

Promise Zone

 Office of the Mayor of the City of Camden

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Promise Zone

 Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Evansville, IN

Promise Zone

 ECHO Housing Corporation

Hartford, CT

Promise Zone

 Hartford Mayor's Office

Indianapolis, IN

Promise Zone

 John H. Boner Community Center

Los Angeles, CA

Promise Zone

 City of Los Angeles

Minneapolis, MN

Promise Zone

 City of Minneapolis

Nashville, TN

Promise Zone

 Nashville Metropolitan Development and   Housing Agency

Philadelphia, PA

Promise Zone

 Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment   and Opportunity

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota

Promise Zone

 Thunder Valley Community Development   Corporation

Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

Promise Zone

 Local Redevelopment Authority of Roosevelt

Sacramento, CA

Promise Zone

 Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment   Agency

San Antonio, TX

Promise Zone

 City of San Antonio

San Diego, CA

Promise Zone

 City of San Diego

South Los Angeles, CA

Promise Zone

 Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Southeastern Kentucky Highlands

Promise Zone

 Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Commission

Promise Zone

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

Spokane Tribe of Indians, Washington

Promise Zone

Spokane Tribe of Indians

St. Louis/St. Louis County, MO

Promise Zone

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

The South Carolina Low Country

Promise Zone

Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Rolette County, ND

Promise Zone

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians