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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Improve Hardeeville Commerce Park in South Carolina Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.86 million grant to the city of Hardeeville, South Carolina, to make infrastructure improvements to the Hardeeville Commerce Park to increase extreme weather resiliency in the future. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.24 million in local funds.

“The Trump Administration is working diligently to help rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The project will support needed improvements that will strengthen Hardeeville’s Commerce Park in the face of extreme weather. Additionally, the project’s location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help attract additional investment through special tax incentives.”

“President Trump and Secretary Ross’ commitment to helping areas like Hardeeville recover from natural disasters will pay dividends in the years to come,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “To know that we have partners in the administration that want to work with us to strengthen our communities’ infrastructure to be better prepared in the future is good news for all of South Carolina.”

“This is big news for the city and region,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “This grant will allow the City of Hardeeville to make necessary infrastructure improvements that will promote economic development and ensure preparedness during natural disasters. I appreciate the EDA working with my office and other stakeholders to turn this into reality. The Palmetto State is a great place to do business, and this grant will help to make Hardeeville and the surrounding communities even more attractive for future investment.”

The investment will support roadway, water and wastewater improvements to serve the 165-acre Hardeeville Commerce Park, which is located in an Opportunity Zone. The project will support needed improvements that will promote economic diversification and resiliency through business expansion and growth in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Companies with export needs will now have the ability to transport from the park. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Lowcountry Council of Governments. EDA funds Lowcountry Council of Governments to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

The funding announced today goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zone designations spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, read our blog post.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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