In the face of current economic challenges, communities across the country are reaching out for development support to create strategies focused on short-term recovery and immediate needs — as well as laying the groundwork for long-term growth. As communities seek economic stability and development, broadband connectivity is one factor that puts your jurisdiction in a position to be more competitive. In fact, you may not even realize the available options to enhance connectivity in your community.
Baker Tilly works closely with communities to connect them to federal grant and loan programs to help them achieve economic development recovery and growth. Federal agencies including the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offer community programs in the form of grants and loans to explore options for broadband improvement to (or an overhaul of) their current connectivity infrastructure.
While broadband has been rising in popularity for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled an immediate need for faster, sharper, more reliable internet. Many of your residents are working from home. There is a massive need for telehealth. Educational institutions have moved a large portion of elementary to college-level learning online. E-commerce and online shopping have never been bigger. Video chats and conference calls are increasing in importance as organizations compete to conduct business across the region, the country and the world. This combination of influences is taking a great toll on many entities’ ability to retain existing employers, attract new businesses and develop a reliable and robust workforce.
As a result, connectivity issues have never been more costly. Businesses, government entities and workforce development agencies agree that stronger broadband connectivity is a key to economic recovery and long-term growth. If ever there was a time to explore opportunities to enhance your internet platform and strengthen your online performance capabilities – that time is now.
Our public sector economic development practice works alongside our utilities and infrastructure group and collaborates with our firmwide technology specialists to offer a depth of experience and expertise. With these resources readily available to your entity, Baker Tilly is well-positioned to assist in connecting federal, state and regional programs to conduct broadband feasibility studies and lay the foundation to enhance your broadband capabilities.
Serving public sector entities as their Value Architect is precisely what we do every day of the year – from tribes and boroughs to towns and cities. We have the in-depth knowledge of changing state and federal regulations and the significant key experience with the broadband grant process to strengthen your economic development position, both now and in the future. Our economic development specialists from Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, our utilities and infrastructure practice and our state and local government consulting group partner to provide grant strategies and proposal writing specialization.
Baker Tilly makes the process simple. We can assist with a feasibility project, and if the project proves feasible, then we can explore funding options for implementation. Our professionals can walk you through the funding process, helping you develop a sound funding strategy and prepare successful grant proposals. If the funding comes through, we can assist with planning, implementation, management and capacity building.
Contact Jolena Presti for more information, or to discuss specific ways Baker Tilly can assist your entity, now, for tomorrow.