Community Economic Resilience Fund
A program being developed by OPR and other state partners to support regional economies with an equitable and sustainable recovery from the economic distress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CERF was created to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress of COVID-19 by supporting new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians.
Specifically, the Community Economic Resilience Fund Program (CERF) would support communities and regional groups in producing regional roadmaps for economic recovery and transition that prioritize the creation of accessible, high-quality jobs in sustainable industries.
On September 23, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 162, which established the $600 million CERF. The CERF is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the California Labor Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) – which together form the CERF Leadership Team – will facilitate the development of the CERF.
The CERF Leadership team is tasked with creating program guidelines, evaluation metrics, conducting oversight, and decision making related to the creation and management of the program and competitive grant structures.
The CERF Leadership Team is responsible for the development of geographic regions and boundaries that can administer the program’s funding and work.
The regions are defined in a way that prioritizes recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and is consistent with existing economic development efforts as well as other state definitions of regional economic and labor markets. The final 13 regions will all receive planning grants and implementation funds through a competitive process. The release of the final regions also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to address some of the concerns that emerged during the public comment period for the regions.