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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.4 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Washington Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2.4 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to six EDA Economic Development District organizations in Washington to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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 Washington with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Washington’s 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 these investments in Washington’s EDA Economic Development Districts to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”

“Supporting jobs and investing in infrastructure is going to be crucial for getting our economy in Southwest Washington back on its feet,” said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03). “As a senior member on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, I worked to secure funding in the CARES Act that would address the challenges we’re facing in Southwest Washington, and am pleased tax dollars will be used to support critical infrastructure and business investments for the City of Kelso and Cowlitz County.”

“Our country is not only dealing with the health effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we are also facing significant economic effects from the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08). “Businesses in every sector have taken a hit, including many in the 8th district. That is why one of the first actions the House took in March was to pass funding to help small businesses and farms weather the economic fallout of the pandemic. I’m glad to see this money coming into our district and will continue to work with businesses to make sure they have the support they need to get through this.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Benton-Franklin Council of Governments, Richland, Washington, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by assisting communities in establishing strategic plans focused on economic resilience, and implementing action plans to grow the region’s small business sector.
  • Central Puget Sound Economic Development District, Seattle, Washington, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting industry clusters critical to the stability of the region, and assisting in developing industry-specific disaster recovery and resiliency plans.
  • North Central Washington Economic Development District, Wenatchee, Washington, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide technical assistance to farm and food businesses to support their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council, Port Angeles, Washington, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by working with local governments, nonprofits, and businesses to strengthen collaborations and infrastructure in key sectors such as the marine trades, food systems, broadband development and e-commerce.
  • Tri County Economic Development District, Colville, Washington, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by implementing strategies critical to the growth of the rural economic ecosystem, and supporting entrepreneurs and existing businesses in developing long-term, action-oriented economic resiliency and sustainability plans.
  • Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, Kelso, Washington, will receive a $399,009 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting businesses and local governments in building the infrastructure necessary to remain resilient in the face of pandemics and foster a strong economic environment.

These entities, all EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDD), are some 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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