loader image

Regional Economic Development Strategies

Regional Economic Development Strategies

MVPC works with member communities and subregions to align visions and resources around shared economic development goals. This includes the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and our work as a Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO).

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

The Merrimack Valley serves as an economic development district (EDD) for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. EDA is the main economic development agency of the federal government and works with EDDs throughout the country to promote regional cooperation and job growth. MVPC is the designated liaison between EDA and our constituent communities.

MVPC receives an annual planning grant from EDA, which allows us to develop and manage the Merrimack Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Developed in collaboration with leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, the CEDS includes actions to empower communities to create and retain jobs, stimulate growth, and increase innovation and entrepreneurship. The CEDS is a five-year document, but it is updated annually with statistics and other data that help MVPC and its stakeholders plan accordingly.

In 2022-2023, MVPC worked with stakeholders throughout the region to create the Merrimack Valley CEDS 2023-2028. Over 40 stakeholders were engaged in developing this strategy and we are looking forward to continuing the partnerships that were developed and/or strengthened in the implementation stage. The MV CEDS was officially approved by EDA in Jun 2023.

The CEDS Committee identified five main themes to focus on while crafting objectives and strategies for economic development in the region. Each pillar contains important areas for future work, as well as existing programs and partnerships where these efforts are ongoing.

  • Workforce Development and Industry Cultivation
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
  • Vibrant, Resilient Communities & Destinations
  • Housing

In addition to producing the regional CEDS document, the program consists of:

  • Organizing annual regional meetings;
  • EDA and other economic development grant application assistance;
  • Information support through MVPC’s regional demographic data center; and
  • Support and technical assistance for regional economic development initiatives.

Please contact our Community and Economic Development Department with any questions.

Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee and Conferences

The Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee is responsible for guiding the development of our region’s CEDS Plan. Merrimack Valley CEDS Committee Members represent a variety of public and private interests throughout the region including local government, high education institutions, banks, local businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and state agencies. CEDS Committee meetings focus on identifying responsible parties for the implementation of shared goals and objectives. In addition, key economic development themes critical to the enhancement of the regional economy are examined and collaborations on specific projects emerge.

Regional Economic Development Organization

In 2022, the MA Office of Business Development (MOBD) designated the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Corporation (MVED), a nonprofit supported by MVPC, as a Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO). This designation officially recognizes MVPC as the organization in the Merrimack Valley charged with business development and assistance in partnership with MOBD.

As part of this work, MVPC’s community and economic development department conducts outreach to businesses across our region, learning more about their operations and identifying challenge areas the state can assist with. In partnership with the cities and towns of the Merrimack Valley, this work also aims to build relationships between local municipal officials and the large employers in their community.

If you are a business in the Merrimack Valley, MVPC stands ready to assist you with:

  • Information on tax credit programs to support a future expansion
  • Workforce assistance programs to address recruitment and retention
  • Grants for workforce training and workplace safety training
  • Site selection for an expansion or relocation to the Merrimack Valley

Reach out to Ian, our Economic Development Specialist, for more information: [email protected]

This REDO work began as our Targeted Economic Development Strategy (TEDS) program. In 2020, MVPC launched TEDS in Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence in partnership with the Essex County Community Foundation and the Lawrence Partnership to pilot a new strategy for regional economic development. Due to the success of the TEDS program, MVPC was able to expand the work to the entire Merrimack Valley as a Regional Economic Development Organization. The TEDS work continues today, piloting new economic development programs in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.