Economic Gardening and the CARES Act

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

Under this announcement, EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants under the authority of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders.

Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance include economic recovery planning and preparing technical assistance strategies to address economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preparing or updating resiliency plans to respond to future pandemics, implementing entrepreneurial support programs to diversify economies, and constructing public works and facilities that will support economic recovery, including the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills.

Eligible applicants under the EAA program include a(n):

  • District Organization;
  • Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
  • State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
  • Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
  • Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

The National Center for Economic Gardening is happy to provide supporting  information about Economic Gardening for EDA CARES grant applications. Please contact us today at or visit our Contact Us page.

City of Sacramento – press release on Economic Gardening 2.0 pilot program


Jennifer Singer, 916-995-4385,

City of Sacramento selects seven companies to receive funds and expert support to grow local businesses

Sacramento, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2020) – The City of Sacramento has selected seven companies to participate in its Economic Gardening 2.0 pilot program and potentially receive up to $50,000 matching funds for future growth.

The program pairs local companies with funding as well as experts who assist in analyzing data and creating strategies to achieve desired outcomes. In order to be selected, companies must already be established and have five to 99 employees and $1 million to $50 million in revenues.

“We can’t rely on attracting corporate headquarters from elsewhere in order to grow and diversify our economy in Sacramento,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We must focus our attention on nurturing the entrepreneurs who have already planted their businesses in Sacramento and help them to expand and thrive. Our Economic Gardening 2.0 program is a key component of that strategy. The young companies we are working with today could be our major employers in the future.”

The City of Sacramento’s Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) is facilitating the Economic Gardening 2.0 program in partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) Career Center. In addition to receiving the matching funds, the businesses also have an opportunity to work with the CSUS Career Center on talent development and to partner with a student fellow.

The seven companies work in areas including construction, event planning, meal delivery and manufacturing, and marketing. These businesses already contribute to the City’s economy but through the Economic Gardening 2.0 program, they will be able to grow their market share, reach and workforce. Four of the businesses are highlighted below:

Trifecta in DOCO in downtown Sacramento is a ready-made organic meal delivery service with a focus on healthy meal options.

Preservation & Co in Midtown Sacramento produces hand-crafted and hand-packed products such as bloody Mary mix, pickled vegetables and sauces.

Uptown Studios on Broadway in Sacramento is a creative firm founded in 1992 specializing in graphic design, website design, hosting and management, video production and marketing services.

AHI Construction, soon to open an office in Sacramento, will focus on the booming construction industry in the city.

The other businesses include Honey, The Party Concierge and Hamilton Devices.

“This program is huge because it gives us a chance to retain and expand business in the area, rather than solely attracting it from the outside,” said the City’s Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart. “It is crucial that we explore innovative ways to support our local economy.”

The Economic Gardening Program 2.0 program is one of the strategies the City is implementing to promote inclusive economic and community development to build local businesses and create jobs in the region. SUTL is also implementing a $1 million Innovation Grant program to grow the local startup community to build industry-specific workforces, market local resources and encourage companies to relocate to the area and growth. Find more details here:


The Sacramento Urban Technology Lab (SUTL) launched in 2018 as part of the City’s efforts to bring new and innovative companies, infrastructure and jobs to the region. SUTL is where government, academia and industry collaborate to transform Sacramento into that of a living laboratory for entrepreneurs, advanced technology businesses and academic institutions to test, develop and scale their ideas, products and services. For more information, visit

The Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce advocates for and supports the inclusive economic prosperity of our Capital Region by leading efforts for business. Established in 1895, Metro Chamber is the largest, most prominent and established voice for business representing 1,400 members and their workforce in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

The Sacramento State Career Center is the central hub for career and internship services at the university. Working with businesses and organizations of all sizes and from all sectors, the Career Center is committed to delivering the very best value for employers’ recruiting efforts.

Economic Gardening book now available for download

“Economic Gardening” is a book that covers the history and background of the original “grow your own” economic development program in Littleton, Colorado.  The book also include chapters on the program as it is run today by the National Center for Economic Gardening, as well as a complete listing of the principles, tools and analytical techniques used in high fidelity programs.  Part II of the book is called “An Amateur’s Observations on the Economy” and includes a collection of unusual insights into the economy derived from 30 years of work in Economic Gardening.

To download the book in PDF format please visit this page.