Congress finds that—
there continue to be areas of the United States experiencing chronic high unemployment, underemployment, outmigration, and low per capita incomes, as well as areas facing sudden and severe economic dislocations because of structural economic changes, changing trade patterns, certain Federal actions (including environmental requirements that result in the removal of economic activities from a locality), and natural disasters;
economic growth in the States, cities, and rural areas of the United States is produced by expanding economic opportunities, expanding free enterprise through trade, developing and strengthening public infrastructure, and creating a climate for job creation and business development;
the goal of Federal economic development programs is to raise the standard of living for all citizens and increase the wealth and overall rate of growth of the economy by encouraging communities to develop a more competitive and diversified economic base by—
creating an environment that promotes economic activity by improving and expanding public infrastructure;
promoting job creation through increased innovation, productivity, and entrepreneurship; and
empowering local and regional communities experiencing chronic high unemployment and low per capita income to develop private sector business and attract increased private sector capital investment;
while economic development is an inherently local process, the Federal Government should work in partnership with public and private State, regional, tribal, and local organizations to maximize the impact of existing resources and enable regions, communities, and citizens to participate more fully in the American dream and national prosperity;
in order to avoid duplication of effort and achieve meaningful, long-lasting results, Federal, State, tribal, and local economic development activities should have a clear focus, improved coordination, a comprehensive approach, and simplified and consistent requirements; and
Federal economic development efforts will be more effective if the efforts are coordinated with, and build upon, the trade, workforce investment, transportation, and technology programs of the United States.
In order to promote a strong and growing economy throughout the United States, Congress declares that—
assistance under this chapter should be made available to both rural- and urban-distressed communities;
local communities should work in partnership with neighboring communities, the States, Indian tribes, and the Federal Government to increase the capacity of the local communities to develop and implement comprehensive economic development strategies to alleviate economic distress and enhance competitiveness in the global economy;
whether suffering from long-term distress or a sudden dislocation, distressed communities should be encouraged to support entrepreneurship to take advantage of the development opportunities afforded by technological innovation and expanding newly opened global markets; and
assistance under this chapter should be made available to promote the productive reuse of abandoned industrial facilities and the redevelopment of brownfields.
[Pub. L. 89–136, § 2], as added [Pub. L. 105–393, title I, § 102(a)], Nov. 13, 1998, [112 Stat. 3598]; amended [Pub. L. 108–373, title I, § 101], Oct. 27, 2004, [118 Stat. 1757].)