Greater Phoenix’s large talent base and competitive labor costs make it the place for businesses to go to scale

GPEC chosen as finalist in EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge 

Advancing to Phase 2, competing for up to $100M to scale Greater Phoenix’s economy  

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) was selected by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) as a finalist in the $1B Build Back Better Regional Challenge and awarded a grant of $500,000 in Phase 1, to support the development of the Phase 2 proposal. GPEC was one of 60 finalists selected from 529 applications. As a finalist, GPEC will compete for up to $100M in American Rescue Plan funding with the goal to develop and scale the New Healthcare Innovation Economy in Greater Phoenix.  

“We’re honored to be recognized as a driving force of economic innovation by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce,” said Chris Camacho, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “This grant will be a transformative opportunity for Greater Phoenix to leverage our strengths and leadership in healthcare and digital health.”    

The challenge is assisting communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is the largest economic development initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce in decades.   

GPEC was selected as a finalist for its “Driving the New Healthcare Innovation Economy“ proposal: An inclusive end-to-end healthcare innovation ecosystem that achieves new wealth creation opportunities across broad social, demographic, and economic groups and geographies. This proposal represents opportunities for economic growth by capitalizing on the rapid shift in healthcare from disjointed care across traditional hospitals and clinical settings, toward seamless continuity of care in home and community settings. This vision is advanced by the Healthcare Innovation Coalition comprised of 18 members and more than 40 partner organizations from industry, local governments, education institutions, nonprofits, and foundations. The Coalition aims to advance equitable growth by catalyzing a robust healthcare innovation ecosystem driven by industry, entrepreneurs, talent, and translational research from universities.    

“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge aims to supercharge local economies and increase American competitiveness around the globe,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The outpouring of interest in this program shows the demand for the Build Back Better agenda and the desire to not only create good-paying jobs, but also strengthen our country’s economic resiliency for years down the road.” 

“We are thrilled to help communities work together—in coalitions of government, nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and others—to craft ambitious and regionally unique plans to rebuild their communities,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “These projects will help revitalize local economies and tackle our biggest challenges related to climate change, manufacturing, supply chains and more. EDA is proud to ignite these plans and help communities nationwide build back better.” 

Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge invited coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region. Projects need to be in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry sector.  

EDA received 529 applications from regions in all 50 states and five territories, and the 60 finalists represent regions that formed extraordinary coalitions, demonstrated regional needs, and presented bold proposals to grow their target industry clusters. Ranging from rural communities and coastal towns to major metros, the finalists make up a diverse cross-section of the United States.  

In Phase 2, finalists will compete for significant implementation assistance. EDA will award 20-30 coalitions each up to $100 million. These awards will assist communities in executing ambitious plans to supercharge their regional economies across a variety of strategic growth sectors. The deadline for Phase 2 applications is March 15, 2022. Learn more at  


About the American Rescue Plan Programs

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is one of many EDA programs aimed at building strong regional economies and supporting community-led economic development. Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.  

American Rescue Plan funding enables EDA to provide larger, more transformational investments across the nation while utilizing its greatest strengths, including flexible funding to support community-led economic development. With an emphasis on equity, EDA investments made under the American Rescue Plan will directly benefit previously underserved communities impacted by COVID-19. For more information about EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs, visit 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. For more information about EDA, visit