Redwood Coast Region Awarded $5 Million Economic Development Planning Grant
Funds to support community participation in planning an equitable economic recovery.

Press release by Arcata Economic Development Corporation.

Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), a Community Development Financial Institution, Economic Development Corporation and Small Business Lending Center, has been awarded a $5 million grant from the California Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) to support a planning process developing sustainable industries that will create high-quality, accessible jobs for all. As the grant’s Fiscal Agent, AEDC will manage the funds on behalf of the Redwood Coast Region representing Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake Counties, and partner with the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at CalPoly Humboldt who will serve as a Regional Convener to facilitate a diverse leadership collaborative, community engagement and research to inform development of the regional plan.

“AEDC has worked to provide financing for small businesses within these four counties for decades. These funds will allow us to collaborate and think even bigger, addressing infrastructure and community development projects and programs that support the entire region. We are thrilled to be part of it” said AEDC Executive Director Ross Welch.

The Redwood Region RISE (Resilient, Inclusive, Sustainable Economy) planning effort will run from November through September 2024 and produce a plan recommending project investments across the region that will grow industries creating high quality jobs and support goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“CCRP is excited to leverage its long history of participatory research and engagement in the region in the service of CERF goals. Our mission is to set a table where people of all backgrounds, workers, business leaders, professionals and policymakers can collaborate towards a vision of a thriving, carbon neutral, and equitable future” said Dawn Arledge, CCRP Executive Director. CCRP is a research and evaluation center committed to informing policy, building community, and promoting the health and well-being of people living in rural California.

CCRP will work closely with North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO), who will take a lead on community outreach activities. Established as a nonprofit in 1968, NCO’s mission is to strengthen communities through responsive advocacy, engagement, and services. As the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties, NCO has a strong history of local leadership, community organizing, and collaboration.

Thirteen regions across the state were invited to apply for funding to produce regional roadmaps prioritizing equitable economic recovery and transition to carbon neutrality. AEDC, CCRP and NCO, with staff support from the Humboldt Area Foundation, facilitated discussions this past June and July with a group of approximately 75 stakeholder organizations to obtain input on existing plans and priorities which contributed to the successful proposal, with 47 organizations across the region submitting letters of support and committing to play an initial leadership role in the project.

The West Center, an early organizer and supporter of the application process, has posted the application, initial leadership collaborative and other information about Redwood Region RISE on its website: For updates about Redwood Region RISE and to get on a mailing list, contact CCRP:; (707) 826-3400. A Redwood Region RISE website is coming soon. For more information about the Community Economic Resilience Fund, visit the State website:


[This archive item was originally published on Tuesday, October 25, 2022]

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