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Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse


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The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.

The Fundamentals Course is based on CDFA's Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance, the only comprehensive reference guide dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner’s Guide provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies and techniques used to build strong communities.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Complete three courses and attendees will fulfill half of the requirement for the DFCP Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Course Objectives

  • Learn the fundamentals of development finance
  • Interact with leading development finance professionals from around the country
  • Discuss best practices and case studies that can be implemented in the your community
  • Gain a greater understanding of the diversity of development finance tools
  • Establish a foundation for attending future in-depth financing courses
  • Receive a copy of the Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance

Topics Covered

  • Understanding development finance
  • The financing spectrum
  • Building the development finance toolbox
  • Bedrock tools: bonds and the basics of public finance
  • Targeted tools: tax increment and special district financing
  • Investment tools: tax credits, EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
  • Access to capital lending tools: revolving loan and mezzanine funds, loan guarantee, innovation finance and microenterprise programs
  • Support tools: federal, state, incentive and grants programs
  • Implementing the toolbox approach
  • Trends in development finance
  • Development finance challenges and policy considerations

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond Issuers
  • Economic Development Professionals
  • Community Development Professionals
  • Broker/Dealers and Underwriters
  • Elected Officials
  • Government and Nonprofit Finance Officers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Policy Makers

Course Advisor

Toby Rittner Toby Rittner
Council of Development Finance Agencies
President and CEO
Toby Rittner is the President & CEO of Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most... (More)


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wed 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Welcome & Overview
Welcome participants, introduce CDFA and set the stage for the course
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Wed 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Understanding Development Finance & the Toolbox Approach
This session will set the stage for attendees to build their core knowledge base of the roots and basic principles of development finance. Attendees will also learn about the fundamentals and concepts of building a comprehensive financing strategy.
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Wed 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Bedrock Tools
Bonds are the bedrock of development finance and are the cornerstone of most development finance projects. This session will address the basics of bond finance including the various types of bonds, what they can finance, how they are issued and important legal elements to be considered
Wed 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Wed 3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Targeted Tools
Targeted financing programs are the most popular form of development finance. Attendees will learn the basics of several financing tools including tax increment financing, special improvement districts/business improvement districts, special assessment districts, and tax abatements as well as how they can be used to meet economic development goals and objectives.
  • Price Finley, Partner, Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Michael Pehur, Development Finance Consulting Director, Duane Morris Government Strategies
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Wed 5:00 PM

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Thu 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Investment Tools
In this session, attendees will learn about the investment tools available for catalyzing job growth, real estate development, community revitalization and entrepreneurial development. Presentations will cover several highly successful federal tax credit programs and how to effectively apply these programs to development opportunities. Speakers will also cover the new Opportunity Zones program that emerged as a new catalyst for supporting localized economic development investment efforts.
Thu 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Thu 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Access to Capital Tools
Important components in any development finance toolbox are tools that address access to capital concerns such as revolving loan funds, mezzanine finance, credit enhancement models, linked deposit programs, and loan guarantee programs. Furthermore, the use of innovation finance mechanisms such as seed, venture and angel funds for encouraging local growth will be discussed by the speakers in this session.
  • Bob Isaacson, Executive Director, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Thu 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Federal Support Tools
The next session of the Fundamentals WebCourse will demonstrate the power of federal support tools and present the multitude of programs that exist within the various federal agencies. Attendees will learn about these programs and how to effectively apply them to development opportunities.
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Thu 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Implementing the Development Finance Toolbox
Development finance agencies throughout the country are implementing the toolbox approach. This final session of the course will focus on case study examples of successful agencies utilizing the toolbox model and strategies for putting the toolbox in place at your agency.
  • Samuel Bozzolla, Business Development Specialist, Allegheny County Economic Development
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Thu 5:00 PM


The Fundamentals Economic Development Finance WebCourse will take place on the web through GoToWebinar, an online distance learning software.