71 FR 56675, Sept. 27, 2006, unless otherwise noted.
Upon the application of an Eligible Applicant, and with respect to that Eligible Applicant's Project only, the Assistant Secretary may designate the Region which the Project will serve as a Special Impact Area if the Eligible Applicant demonstrates that its proposed Project will:
(a) Directly fulfill a pressing need; and
(b) Be useful in alleviating or preventing conditions of excessive unemployment or underemployment, or assist in providing useful employment opportunities for the unemployed or underemployed residents of the Region.
(a) The Assistant Secretary may find a pressing need to exist if the Region which the Project will serve:
(1) Has a unique or urgent circumstance that would necessitate waiver of the CEDS requirements of § 303.7 of this chapter;
(2) Involves a Project undertaken by an Indian Tribe;
(3) Is rural and severely distressed;
(4) Is undergoing a transition in its economic base as a result of changing trade patterns (e.g., the Region is certified as eligible by the North American Development Bank Program or the Community Adjustment and Investment Program);
(5) Exhibits a substantial reliance on a natural resource for its economic well-being;
(6) Has been designated as a Federally Declared Disaster area; or
(7) Has a Special Need.
(b) For purposes of this part, excessive unemployment exists if the 24-month unemployment rate is at least 225 percent of the national average or the per capita income is not more than 50 percent of the national average. A Region demonstrates excessive underemployment if the employment of a substantial percentage of workers in the Region is less than full-time or at less skilled tasks than their training or abilities would otherwise permit. Eligible Applicants seeking a Special Impact Area designation under this criterion must present appropriate and compelling economic and demographic data.
(c) Eligible Applicants may demonstrate the provision of useful employment opportunities by quantifying and evidencing the Project's prospective:
(1) Creation of jobs;
(2) Commitment of financial investment by private entities; or
(3) Application of innovative technology that will lead to the creation of jobs or the commitment of financial investment by private entities.