OPINION

Prosper Economic Development Corporation bridges gap

By Mary Moon

The action of leveraging is defined as ‘using something that you already have in order to achieve something new or better.’ An economic development corporation leverages many resources to achieve its goals and ensure that its community vision is implemented and sustained.  Those resources include people, assets, programs, funds, education and partnerships.   

North Texas Economic Development Organizations have a significant partner which brings a plethora of opportunities and support to our region.  The North Central Texas Economic Development District (NCTEDD) established by the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) encompasses a 16-county region.  Its goal is to bring together the private and public sectors in partnership to provide a coordinated strategy and economic development technical assistance with such things as strategic planning, grant writing, grant administration and training workshops.  It serves a foundation for regional collaboration and cooperative economic planning. Governed by a Board of Directors, Prosper, Texas is well represented by Prosper Economic Development Executive Director Mary Ann Moon and local businessman, David Bristol. 

Regional Economic Developers work in conjunction with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to develop regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies for the region. The NCTEDD also serves as a required vehicle through which some federal agencies evaluate requests for grant assistance, most especially programs administered and funded by the EDA,  a division of the Department of Commerce. 

EDA is the only federal government agency focused on economic development.  The Administration’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. Specifically, EDA possesses two key economic drivers, innovation and regional collaboration.  Communities are stronger if they work collaboratively with their neighbors.  Leveraging individual assets results in a greater whole whereby all communities benefit. 

EDA offers a multitude of grant opportunities for communities.  Through the integration of resources which may include federal, state, local and/or philanthropic opportunities, achieving positive outcomes and impacts is improved.  Creative approaches and new ideas advance all types of economic prosperity possibilities. The NCTEDD is our representative and topic expert for all things EDA.  Under the leadership of Lucille Johnson, the North Texas region, in which Prosper is included, can seek assistance for credible projects which impact our entire, designated area and those communities adjacent to us. 

Recently, we added another partner to leverage opportunities.  The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has joined forces with our NCTEDD to offer grant opportunities for rural businesses affected by COVID.  (Yes, Prosper is defined as rural!) Access https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/rural-relief-small-business-grants/. The next round of grant opportunities is January 26 through February 2, 2021.  Once again, leveraging resources and disseminating information may be extremely helpful to our local businesses. 

The Prosper Economic Development Corporation is responsible for assisting existing businesses.  Helping to create an environment conducive to business growth and expansion is an important part of our mission.  During the COVID pandemic, is has become increasingly necessary that we leverage our resources to help.  If you are an entrepreneur or know someone who is, share this information, utilize the resources and let us know if we may assist. 

One of LISC’s strategies is to strengthen existing alliances while building new collaborations to increase their impact on the progress of people and places.  Your PEDC is doing the same.  Combining our resources with those of others, we make for a more prosperous community.   

Mary Ann Moon

Mary Ann Moon, CEcD, FM, HLM, is executive director of the Prosper Economic Development Corporation. Submit feedback to maryann@prosperedc.com. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.