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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $400,000 in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping 5-County Greater Egypt Region in Illinois Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Greater Egypt Regional Planning & Development Commission, Marion, Illinois, to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investment being made in the bureau’s Chicago region.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide the Greater Egypt region with the necessary resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“This investment comes at a crucial time to help Illinois’ and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are pleased to make this investment in the Greater Egypt Regional Planning & Development Commission to hire additional staff that will focus on implementing the District’s recently updated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and recovering from this pandemic.”

“This federal funding will help Southern Illinois communities recover from the economic hardship brought on by this pandemic,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I’m pleased Congress was able to come together on a bipartisan basis to provide this much-needed economic support. I will continue working to ensure that every corner of Illinois has the federal resources needed to help get families back on their feet.”

“As our communities across Illinois begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important they have the resources they need to create opportunities that drive economic development across the region,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “This CARES Act investment will help revitalize Southern Illinois and give the region an economic boost. I’ll keep working to help secure additional investments that strengthen local economies across our state.”

“Our region has been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19, but Southern Illinoisans are resilient,” said U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12). “I was proud to support the CARES Act in the House and am pleased that this grant will provide our Southern Illinois communities with critical resources as we begin down the road to recovery.”

Greater Egypt Regional Planning & Development Commission, an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD), is one of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA EDD, University Center, Tribal, and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

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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