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The 2024 CEDS - Planning for Cape Cod's economic future

As a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA)-designated Economic Development District, Cape Cod is required to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) every five years. With the current plan set to expire in 2024, work is underway to lay the groundwork for a renewed strategy to support a strong and vibrant Cape Cod.

The 2019-2024 CEDS has been instrumental in addressing key regional challenges, including initiatives to tackle childcare accessibility, develop a Regional Housing Strategy, and develop and implement the Cape Cod Climate Action Plan. Cape Cod's most pressing challenges, including wastewater, housing, and infrastructure, are all economic issues, highlighting the need for a targeted approach in the upcoming CEDS. The CEDS also provided the foundation for development of tools like Data Cape Cod.

The economic impacts since the last CEDS was developed in 2019 have been significant, with rapidly rising home prices, shifts in population dynamics, and the rise of short-term rentals. The global pandemic has further underscored the need for a strategic economic vision that adapts to changing circumstances.

The Barnstable County Economic Development Council (BCEDC) has identified key priorities for the 2024 CEDS, including water quality, climate, housing, canal bridges, broadband, and support for a diverse local workforce. These priorities reflect the region's commitment to addressing both immediate concerns and long-term challenges.

The EDA encourages development of a CEDS that meets the unique circumstances of the region. They require a CEDS include a summary of economic conditions, a strengths and opportunities analysis, a strategic action plan, and an evaluation framework. These requirements emphasize the importance of a thorough understanding of the region's economic landscape and the need for a comprehensive strategy.

Stakeholder engagement will be a key component of the CEDS development process. Public input and collaboration with the community will be sought to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive strategy.

A well-planned CEDS will help strengthen the region’s economy in the coming years. By identifying priorities, engaging stakeholders, and leveraging the strengths of the region, we will work to overcome current challenges and create a pathway for sustainable economic development. The 2024 CEDS is due for submission to the federal EDA by June 30, 2024.

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