U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Support Economic Development Planning and Disaster Resiliency Efforts in 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 Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District, Inc., (SEAEDD) of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to establish a new headquarters facility in Pine Bluff. The EDA grant will be matched with $399,000 in local investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to strengthening community-led economic development planning and natural disaster recovery efforts,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “SEAEDD’s new economic development headquarters will provide the centralized, modern space necessary to advance the community’s economic development and disaster resiliency plans.”
“This investment supports the construction of a new headquarters for SEAEDD to advance economic development and disaster recovery efforts in Arkansas,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This new facility will further economic development outreach and provide new trainings to local leaders, arming them with tools to improve the region’s economy.”
“News of this grant couldn’t have come at a better time for Pine Bluff and Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The opportunity to build a new headquarters will breathe new life into southeast Arkansas and energize the leadership of the economic development efforts as they seek to attract business and create jobs.”
“Regional economic development coordination is key to bringing growth and investment to southeast Arkansas,” said Senator John Boozman. “Helping to modernize and expand the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District’s ability to facilitate this type of support and assistance will benefit the region’s communities and businesses. I applaud the EDA for awarding this grant and furthering vital progress for economic competitiveness and quality of life.”
“This new facility will be instrumental in helping Pine Bluff and the surrounding areas better prepare for emergency situations and natural disasters,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “I’m grateful to President Trump and his administration for their continued focus on equipping rural America with the necessary resources to improve their emergency preparedness and response.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the SEAEDD, 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) 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.
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.