Economic Development District

What Is An Economic Development District (EDD)?

An Economic Development District, or District Organization, is a federally designated organization charged with the maintenance and implementation of the CEDS plan. Application for designation involves several steps including written support by the State of Illinois, Boone and Winnebago Counties, and a plan of operation as a non-profit organization. Similarly sized EDD’s procure around $1.5 million annually in grant funding for their district from the EDA alone. Once designated, the EDD is eligible for a 50% matching planning grant to fund the program and staff.

What is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)?

As its name implies, a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) lays out a regional plan for economic development. Its ultimate goal is to help our area have a stronger, more diverse regional economy. While the CEDS’ most critical function is to provide a regional economic development framework, it also serves as a required vehicle through which some federal agencies (especially the EDA) evaluate requests for grant assistance. With a CEDS plan approved by the federal government, a region is eligible to apply for federal economic development grants.

The 2015 CEDS process, led by Economic Development District of Northern Illinois (EDDNI) and expanded to add McHenry to Winnebago and Boone counties.

View the 2016-2020 Rockford Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.


The Economic Development District of Northern Illinois is a nonprofit agency whose primary role is to do economic development planning. This includes planning for job creation and growing community wealth.

What EDDNI does:

  • Engage area residents, organizations, and governments in regional economic development planning efforts
  • Develop, maintain, and implement regional plans pertaining to economic development
  • Serve as the point of contact for area agencies and organizations preparing to apply for economic development grants
  • Provide ongoing technical assistance to area governments and nonprofits
  • Align economic development goals and priorities and work on economic development initiatives
  • Economic development grant/loan research, writing, and administration
  • Offer a request for assistance program

The economic development district is financially supported by both Winnebago and Boone Counties, Rockford Area Economic Development Council, and Growth Dimensions for Belvidere-Boone County.