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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Establish Business Revolving Loan Fund Near Opportunity Zone in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to establish a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) in support of businesses located in low income communities. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds and is expected to help create or retain 255 jobs and generate $4.5 million in private investment.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and the Trump Administration is committed to helping them obtain the capital they need to succeed,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This RLF will help businesses in low income communities near an Opportunity Zone in Milwaukee gain the financing they need to grow and thrive.”

“Ensuring the flow of capital to support catalytic projects, particularly in low income communities, is critical to the economic health of the entire Milwaukee region,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “MEDC’s EDA RLF will support businesses near an Opportunity Zone that create living wage and permanent jobs, spur additional investment, support business success, and increase owner equity.”

The funding announced today will help 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 (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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