The Alabama Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act is a groundbreaking grant program that aims to expedite the process of developing economic sites throughout the state. The program is a critical component of Governor Ivey’s Game Plan to boost economic development in Alabama.
Under the SEEDS program, the State Industrial Development Authority (SIDA) is authorized to award grants for site assessments and site development to local economic development organizations. To be eligible for the grant, an organization must be a non-profit Alabama entity, such as a municipality, county industrial development board, industrial development authority, chamber of commerce, or a non-profit foundation. Moreover, the organization must have a record of supporting or participating in economic development activities in the state.
The SEEDS Act is crucial as it addresses the urgent need for quality industrial sites in the state. With new sites, Alabama will be better positioned to compete for projects, which could be a game changer for local communities. The SEEDS program has key dates that interested parties should keep in mind:
- The application portal for SEEDS grants opened on October 16, 2023.
- The application deadline is December 15, 2023.
- SIDA will meet to approve SEEDS grants in February/March 2024.
SIDA has partnered with the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to administer the SEEDS Grants Program, and funding comes from the Alabama Site Development Fund, which has appropriated $40 million by the legislature.
SEEDS includes match requirements for both Site Assessment and Site Development Grants, and the match is based on county population. The local economic development organization must provide funds to be used for the scope of work requested in the grant application, and the match may not include local funds previously spent on the site, in-kind services, any other state funds, or federal grants that have not been awarded.
The use of SEEDS grants must align with targeted business sectors outlined in Accelerate Alabama 2.0, such as Aerospace/Defense, Agriculture Products/Food Production, Automotive, Bioscience, Chemicals, and Metals & Advanced Materials.
The SEEDS Act is an exciting opportunity for local economic development organizations to accelerate the development of new sites across the state. With the SEEDS program, Alabama will be better prepared to compete for projects, which will have a positive impact on local communities. If you are interested in applying for a SEEDS grant, keep in mind the important dates and requirements, and make sure your application aligns with the targeted business sectors outlined in Accelerate Alabama 2.0.
Sain is one of Alabama’s leading civil engineering firms with extensive experience in providing services for economic development projects. With Alabama offices in Huntsville, Birmingham, Auburn, and Mobile, Sain can assist organizations by providing information necessary for site assessment and site development SEEDS grant applications.
For site assessment grants, Sain would provide the local economic development organization with a proposal for all items required for the SEEDS submittal, including a complete due-diligence package. As part of this, Sain would complete an inventory of what organizations have in-hand and help them identify needed services.
For a site development grant, our team would help ensure that local economic development organizations have all the required studies and information for their grant application.
For more information or to learn more about how Sain can help your community, please get in touch with Sr. Principal Joe Meads, P.E.