Technical Assistance

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course
August 12, 2019
Detroit, MI

Alaska Industrial Development and Export AuthorityBaker Tilly Virchow KrauseBNY MellonBricker & Eckler LLPBryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLPBusiness OregonCohnReznickFBT Project Finance Advisors LLCFifth Third BankFrost Brown Todd, LLCHawkins Delafield & Wood LLPIce Miller LLPKeyBanc Capital MarketsKutak Rock LLPMcCarter & English, LLPMcGuireWoodsMuniCap, Inc.NW Financial Group, LLCPetros PACE FinanceSB Friedman Development AdvisorsStern BrothersStifel NicolausU.S. BankWells Fargo SecuritiesWilmington TrustZ. The Bond Buyer


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The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course 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. Participants may register for one, two, or three courses during CDFA Summer School. Complete three courses, and attendees fulfill half of the requirements for the DFCP Program. Join us in Detroit, and start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

The schedule for CDFA Summer School is outlined below. Click on the course name to learn more about the topic and agenda:

CDFA Summer School: Course Schedule

August 12, 2019
Tuesday & Wednesday
August 13-14, 2019
Thursday & Friday
August 15-16, 2019


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 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)


Monday, August 12, 2019

Mon 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Breakfast & Registration
Mon 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Welcome & Overview
Welcome participants, introduce CDFA and set the stage for the course.
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Mon 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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
Mon 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Mon 10:15 AM - 12:00 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.
Mon 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch, 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 and special assessment districts as well as how they can be used to meet economic development goals and objectives.
Mon 1:30 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 address the use of EB-5 financing, which encourages foreign investment in job-creating U.S. economic development projects in return for a U.S. green card.
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Mon 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Mon 2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Access to Capital Lending 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.
  • Jessica Firmstone, Business Development Coordinator, Fay-Penn Economic Development Council
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Mon 3:30 PM - 4:00 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
Mon 4:00 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. 
  • Valarie Handy, Analyst, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Toby Rittner, President and CEO, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Mon 5:00 PM
Adjourn & Reception


CDFA Summer School will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit which is located in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
1114 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Phone: 313-442-1600

>>>Reserve Your Room Now

CDFA has arranged a significantly reduced room rate of $194.00 (plus tax) per night for a standard room (single or double occupancy). A select number of hotel rooms are available from August 11-16, 2019 at the reduced rate if reservations are made before July 21, 2019. This rate is not guaranteed if reservations are made after the cut-off date or if the hotel is sold-out. Please reserve your room early. For individual reservations click on the link above or call 313-442-1600 and reference CDFA Summer School.


This course will be offered at CDFA Summer School. CDFA Summer School is a week long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. Participants may register for one, two, or three courses during CDFA Summer School.

Scholarships are available to attend this event. Learn more about the CDFA Scholarship Program, and submit your application today.

Register before July 12, 2019 for Early-Bird Rates.

When you register for three courses during CDFA Summer School, you will receive a $200 discount off the total registration fee.

Click the Register button to view the total fees and discounts available for CDFA Summer School.
Early Bird Rates
(Ends July 12)
CDFA Member: $350
Non-Member: $500
Standard Rates
(After July 12)
CDFA Member: $400
Non-Member: $550