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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Virginia Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $1.6 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to four EDA Economic Development District organizations in Virginia 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 Virginia with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

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

“We appreciate this support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which complements Virginia’s investments in small businesses, emergency preparedness, and workforce training,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “We look forward to putting this virus behind us as soon as possible and rebuilding an economy that works for all Virginians.”

“As businesses begin to reopen and folks start to head back to work, I am pleased that the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission has been awarded funding through the CARES Act to further boost the recovery efforts in our localities,” said Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06). “This grant will help the Shenandoah Valley re-ignite local industries and in turn assist area residents in getting back on their feet.”

“As Virginia recovers from the economic effects of the coronavirus, there will be opportunities not just to rebuild but to improve,” said Congressman H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09). “The grants awarded today will support recovery and long-term economic development in our area. I appreciate the Trump Administration’s work to deliver CARES Act funding to our communities.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, Staunton, Virginia, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by engaging local governments and the business community; developing short- and long-term recovery and resiliency plans to expand teleworking opportunities; restart the tourism industry; support small businesses; and strengthen the supply chain of agricultural goods.
  • Crater Planning District Commission, Petersburg, Virginia, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing an economic recovery and resiliency plan that aligns with state’s “GO Virginia” and “Blueprint for Getting Virginians Back to Work” initiatives; supporting the tourism sector; and addressing supply chain disruptions in the Crater region’s logistics and manufacturing sectors.
  • Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Lebanon, Virginia, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting the region’s small businesses in the tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing energy sectors through strategies developed by a newly hired emergency economic response coordinator.
  • West Piedmont Planning District Commission, Martinsville, Virginia, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing assistance to local governments, higher education institutions, and other stakeholders to identify grant opportunities, prepare applications, and administer grant-funded projects. Efforts will also include development of a regional pandemic recovery and resiliency plan to address changes in supply chains; identification of industry clusters with emerging opportunities for small business/entrepreneurs, food security, and agricultural sustainability; and opportunities for enhanced broadband connectivity.

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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