Serving DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and Polk Counties

Economic Development District

The Central Florida Regional Planning Council serves as the Economic Development District (EDD) for the Central Florida Region. An EDD is a designated planning office that is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to provide technical assistance for application processing, administration of awarded projects, and identification of regional funding opportunities.  The Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s EDD has been serving the region since 1976 (District VII). The Region is comprised of PolkHardeeHighlandsDeSoto, and Okeechobee Counties.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was established under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3121 et seq.), as amended, to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial, technological, and commercial growth in economically-distressed areas of the United States. EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the Nation experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.

The EDD must provide an annual report of the economic development activities in the region, as well as semi-annual progress reports.  This is accomplished with the cooperation of the economic development departments/staff within each county and municipality, as well as other economic development organizations.

View the Florida Strategic Plan for Economic Development on floridajobs.org.

The primary functions of the EDD include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Preparing and maintaining the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
  • Assist with implementation strategies identified in the CEDS
  • Provide technical assistance to local governments and economic development organizations on their economic development activities, programs, and grant applications

The CEDS is updated every five years through a comprehensive planning process that addresses the needs of the entire region.  The EDD staff ensures that private, public, and community interests are represented in the composition of the CEDS Committee.  The CEDS was updated in 2012 and adopted in October of 2012.

The CEDS performs the following functions:

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  • Analyzes regional economy & guides regional goals & objectives.
  • Creates a road map to economic diversity through private sector investment and job creation.
  • Serves as vehicle to justify and draw down federal funds.
  • Identifies key investments, opportunities, and projects in the region
  • Identifies target clusters for the region