U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.56 Million to Support Economic Development and Disaster Resiliency Efforts in Loudon, Tennessee, Opportunity Zone
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.56 million grant to the city of Loudon, Tennessee, to make infrastructure improvements to allow for expansion of new and existing industries in the region. The EDA grant, to be matched with $640,000 in local investment, is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 1,010 jobs, and spur $130 million in private investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to supporting locally-driven disaster recovery and economic resiliency efforts,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new water lines being constructed with the help of this grant will allow Loudon businesses to expand while also making the region’s economy more resilient in the face of future natural disasters and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional investment.”
“This investment will provide the water capacity Loudon needs to support its business community with resilient infrastructure,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The infrastructure improvements will serve the Blair Bend Industrial Park and surrounding area and the project’s Opportunity Zone designation will further transform the community.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the East Tennessee Development District, 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.
The funding announced today goes to one of Tennessee’s 176 Opportunity Zones. 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.
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.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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.