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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Support Manufacturing Growth Near Opportunity Zone in Fayetteville, Arkansas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to make roadway infrastructure improvements needed to support expansion efforts of area manufacturers and businesses in the Commerce District Industrial Corridor and improve the area’s resilience against flooding and high winds. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $500,000 in local investment and is expected to create 350 jobs and spur $10 million in private investment.

“Manufacturing is the heartbeat of many American communities, and the Trump Administration is committed to helping them obtain the modern infrastructure they need to encourage manufacturing growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “As Fayetteville continues to recover from the White River flooding, roadway infrastructure built to withstand future disasters is critical for improving economic resiliency and attracting new manufacturers.”

“This investment will support Fayetteville as they work to diversify their economy through the addition of future manufacturing employment opportunities that provide high-skill and high-wage jobs,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The project will mitigate the impact of natural disasters affecting the Fayetteville area, and the project’s location near an Opportunity Zone will drive additional investment.”

“Infrastructure is key to economic growth,” said Senator John Boozman. “This grant will support development by providing access to dozens of acres of land so Fayetteville can attract new businesses and jobs to the community. I’m proud to support policies and advocate for investments that help Arkansas communities and businesses expand.”

“Fayetteville is a hub of growth, and modern infrastructure is critical to supporting the region’s manufacturing capacity,” said Congressman Steve Womack (AR-03). “This targeted EDA funding will unlock the development potential of the Fayetteville Commerce District by addressing transportation access and roadway resiliency. Strengthening the ability of local businesses to easily and quickly move products will further unleash local economic opportunity. I thank the Trump Administration for its continued investment in the Third District.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest Arkansas Economic Planning and Development District (NWAEDD), which EDA funds 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 by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

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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