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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.6 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Minnesota Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.6 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to eight EDA Economic Development District organizations across Minnesota 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 Minnesota with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

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

“The allocation of these CARES Act funds will go a long way toward helping the Mankato community safely reopen and resume economic activity, while having procedures in place to respond to and mitigate a potential outbreak of COVID-19,” said Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01). “I appreciate the Trump administration’s continued commitment to expanding economic opportunity and keeping our communities safe.”

“Additional funding from the Economic Development Administration will provide much needed support across the Seventh District,” said Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-07). “I’m pleased to see that this funding for the Economic Development Districts will be used to rebuild our rural economies that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to continue to support these kinds of investments as we respond and recover from this crisis together.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Region Five Development Commission, Staples, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by designing and implementing strategies that expand regional economic development and local comprehensive plans to include pandemic response strategies, as well as diversifying technical assistance and other opportunities offered to small businesses within the local foods, agricultural, and renewable energy economy.
  • Mid-Minnesota Development Commission, Willmar, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by assisting stakeholders as they develop and implement economic resiliency plans, helping businesses add e-commerce platforms and strengthening local supply chains.
  • Headwaters Regional Development Commission, Bemidji, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to help communities throughout the region identify and implement strategies designed to rebound from the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Duluth, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing increased professional economic and community development planning to the most pandemic-impacted communities, organizations, and industries in Northeast Minnesota.
  • West Central Initiative, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing the additional staff capacity needed to provide direct service to businesses and local governments.
  • Region 9 Development Commission, Mankato, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by working to improve resiliency in communities, while also planning and executing economic recovery through strategic economic development plans, initiatives, and other resources that assist the region.
  • East Central Regional Development Commission, Mora, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting the growth and diversification of the region’s small business economy; developing resiliency strategies to boost the region’s tourism and hospitality sector; implementing strategies to grow the region’s critical manufacturing sector; expanding broadband availability; hiring additional staff, and supporting workforce needs.
  • Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission, Appleton, Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by proactively addressing redevelopment initiatives, recovery strategies for specifically-impacted industries, resiliency around digital commerce, and various strategies related to regional marketing and tourism.
  • Southwest Regional Development Commission, Slayton Minnesota, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by support regional leadership in recovery planning efforts through the development of a regional resiliency plan, and by assisting with local, state, and federally led coronavirus recovery efforts.

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 (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.

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