As the state's economic engine, Southern Maine is northern New England's premier destination for commerce and culture. GPCOG, in partnership with the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission (SMRPC), established the Southern Maine Economic Development District (SMEDD) in 1994 to serve York and Cumberland Counties. As a federally designated Economic Development District, SMEDD's mission is to promote economic prosperity throughout the region via:
?Representation of regional interests in statewide and national economic development forums.
?Assistance to communities with grant applications to support local and regional economic development.
?Strategic assistance to targeted areas, including downtowns, special populations, and industry clusters.
?Coordination with the region's insitutional providers of education, workforce development, incubation and microenterprise assistance.
?Data collection and analysis on the Southern Maine economy.
?Regional liaison to Maine & Company and to the Department of Economic and Community Development for business leads, regional marketing programs and other statewide economic development projects.
?Access to capital for area businesses through the Regional Economic Development Loan Program and Revolving Loan Fund Program.
SMEDD is responsible for coordinating the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), a vision for economic growth and development. The CEDS allows communities in York and Cumberland Counties to become eligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA provides grants to support planning and infrastructure in rural and urban areas experiencing economic distress due to high unemployment, low income, mass layoffs, closure of federal facilities, natural disasters, depletion of natural resources, or changing trade patterns. Eligible communities in York and Cumberland Counties must apply for EDA funds through SMEDD. In addition to meeting economic distress criteria, eligible communities must include their projects in the CEDS.
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68 Marginal Way
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