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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.3 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Illinois Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.3 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to nine EDA Economic Development Districts across Illinois 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 Illinois with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

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

“As the pandemic continues to put economic stress on small businesses and communities, this federal funding will provide critical economic relief throughout Illinois,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure that every corner of Illinois has the federal resources needed to help get communities and small businesses back on their feet.”

“Southern Illinois small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown,” said Congressman Mike Bost (IL-12). “These grants will provide the Southern Five Regional Planning District and Development Commission and the Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan and Regional Planning Commission with vitally important resources so that they can continue helping local businesses and communities respond to and recover from this pandemic.”

“The economic impact on central Illinois from COVID-19 and state-mandated closures is being felt across our community,” said Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18). “Congress provided significant resources in the CARES Act to support impacted businesses and their employees, as well as workers who were furloughed or laid off. This grant funding award for Macomb will provide additional support to individuals, families, and businesses hurting from this pandemic. I applaud the Trump Administration for directing these federal resources to Macomb.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Bi-State Regional Commission, Rock Island, Illinois, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by expanding staff capacity to provide technical and planning support to build resilience.
  • Blackhawk Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Rock Falls, Illinois, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting local businesses, including the leisure, hospitality, and personal services industries; launching an online resource for local entrepreneurs; developing a plan to attract a strong workforce; and identifying land for development.
  • Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria, Illinois, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing and implementing strategies to support businesses, develop a strong workforce, and ensure the vitality of rural communities.
  • South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission, Salem, Illinois, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to communities that need help supporting local business and other initiatives to aid in recovery.
  • Southern Five Regional Planning District and Development Commission, Ullin, Illinois, will receive a $399,976 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to provide specialized assistance to communities and businesses to aid efforts to recover from and be more resilient to future economic crises.
  • North Central Illinois Council of Governments, Ottawa, Illinois, will receive a $388,795 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to help communities develop and implement response efforts to accelerate economic recovery in the region, as well as develop plans to minimize future economic disruption.
  • Western Illinois Regional Council, Macomb, Illinois, will receive a $388,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing an economic recovery and resiliency plan to prepare for future economic disruptions using input from local government, health officials, and economic development professionals.
  • Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan and Regional Planning Commission, Fairview Heights, Illinois, will receive a $354,097 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing strategies to boost the logistics and manufacturing sectors in the region, and support workforce needs.
  • Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission, Harrisburg, Illinois, will receive a $174,054 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to hire additional staff to assist communities and businesses in responding to the economic impact created by the coronavirus pandemic.

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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