Eastern Carolina Council works to assist our member governments as they seek to improve both the quality of life and the economy in our region’s communities. ECC helps to coordinate collaboration on locally-based, regionally-driven strategies and planning to leverage economic development underway in our member governments and partner organizations.
Eastern Carolina Council also serves as the Economic Development District for the U.S. Economic Development Administration in the nine-county region. One of the functions that we carry out as part of that role is to create the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region.
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a plan for regional economic development. It provides a strategic blueprint that defines the regional economic vision and coordinates efforts to achieve the vision. The plan addresses critical issues that impact the region and provides a foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with other economic actors (individuals, firms, industries), creates the environment for regional economic prosperity. The CEDS is a 5-year plan that emerges from a broad-based continuous planning process addressing the economic opportunities and constraints of a region.
The guidelines for developing a CEDS include effective general planning practices that can be used by any community to design and implement a plan to guide its economic growth. CEDS updates are completed periodically to reflect implementation and changes to the regional economy. The plan is developed by a CEDS committee, which is made up of a variety of stakeholders from across the region and includes members of ECC's General Membership Board, as well as public and private-sector representation.
ECC receives planning funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support development and maintenance of the plan. Regions must update their CEDS to qualify for EDA assistance under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. These programs provide economically distressed communities and regions with comprehensive and flexible resources to address a wide variety of economic needs.