Community & Economic Development

Municipal leaders seeking to build their communities through economic development efforts are not alone. They have a friend in WAPDD.

Since 1966, WAPDD has served as a vital resource and support system for local communities committed to economic development. This is a crucial part of any community’s short- and long-term efforts to enhance vitality and quality of life. It can also be a complicated endeavor, with a great deal of data to crunch, resources to consider, funding opportunities to pursue and administrative challenges to tackle.

WAPDD knows its way around this maze very well, and it’s our job to help in areas such as:

  • Preparation of community and economic development plans
  • Finding grant and loan sources for community projects
  • Structuring of financing for public works projects
  • Help connecting with funding and regulatory agencies
  • Preparation of grant and loan applications
  • Project administration

Funding for much of WAPDD’s work supporting local economic development comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s economic districts planning grant program. This funding also helps us to maintain the District’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, which contains information on the District’s economy as well as local and regional development goals and strategies.

The newly created web portal at provides a source of economic development data for Arkansas. The portal provides a single site with comprehensive demographic data for all cities and counties in the state of Arkansas. This site is an effort by the eight Arkansas Economic Development Districts and the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, Arkansas Association of Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) was established under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3121), as amended, to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial 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.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)