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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $7.2 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Texas Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $7.2 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to 18 EDA Economic Development District organizations across Texas 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 Texas with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

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

“As the coronavirus outbreak destabilizes our way of life, it is critical that we take active measures to ensure that struggling Texas businesses can weather the storm,” said Senator John Cornyn. “I’ll continue to do everything I can to help small businesses in Texas bounce back amid this deadly pandemic.”

“We are very gratified the Trump Administration's Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) agreed with the need to help our local coronavirus impacted areas,” said Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01). “These grants will assist in strengthening programs to support east Texas communities in responding and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“I am pleased to learn that the Economic Development Administration is allocating CARES Act grants to two of our local organizations: the Concho Valley Council of Governments in San Angelo, and the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission in Midland,” said Congressman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11). “As we begin recovering from the COVID-19 related shutdowns, these resources will cast a lifeline to the economy of the 11th District of Texas, allowing our local folks to hire staff, support small businesses, and reinvigorate our critical energy and transportation industries.”

“From the Coastal Bend to the Golden Crescent, the coronavirus pandemic brought unique challenges to my part of Texas,” said Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27). “As a result of these CARES Act allocations, the economy of the congressional district I represent will be strengthened and supported. It’s going to make a real difference for people in our area.”

“We are facing an unprecedented global health pandemic, which has taken an immense toll on our State’s economy,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28). “This funding will assist South Texas communities in strengthening our local economies and aiding the American public in financially bouncing-back from any economic shortfalls due to COVID-19. As a senior member on the Appropriations Committee, I will fight every day to ensure that we provide economic development programs with the necessary resources in responding to the virus.”

“As our state enters a critical phase in controlling the virus and weathering continuing economic hardship, these funds we provided in the CARES Act can not only equip local businesses to adapt but also directly assist those in the workforce most in need—as countless Texans remain unemployed through no fault of their own,” said Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-25). “Confronting Texas’ duel economic and health crises requires all of us.”

“Access to rural broadband is one of the most important issues here in Texas – one that I have continued to prioritize and work on in Congress,” said Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36). “That is why I am pleased to see the Department of Commerce announce coronavirus relief funding for the prioritization of rural broadband in Southeast Texas. This money will be used to advance a proposed 12-county rural broadband network in Southeast Texas and work alongside businesses to identify opportunities and resources for recovery and growth.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local businesses and communities.
  • Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Bryan, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to provide regional support, as well as identifying strategies for economic resiliency and opportunities for economic diversification.
  • Central Texas Council of Governments, Belton, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by updating pandemic recovery and resiliency strategies, providing technical assistance to member organizations, and supporting growth of regional tourism.
  • Coastal Bend Council of Governments, Corpus Christi, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by furthering economic resilience initiatives through the development of data frameworks and economic impact assessments that will support developing new economic opportunities.
  • Concho Valley Council of Governments, San Angelo, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to support small businesses with recovery and generate new employment opportunities.
  • Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Lufkin, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by advancing a proposed 12-county rural broadband network and working with businesses to identify opportunities and resources for recovery and growth.
  • East Texas Council of Governments, Kilgore, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring a regional disaster economic recovery coordinator who will develop and implement a disaster response, recovery, and economic resiliency plan. Efforts also include delivering technical support and capacity-building for local small businesses and regional stakeholders.
  • Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, Victoria, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting a regional economic recovery and resilience team, which will focus on increasing the preparedness and capacity of regional stakeholders.
  • Gulf Coast Economic Development District, Houston, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing capacity-building assistance to local communities; supporting plan development through data analysis and assessments; creating programs aimed at economic diversity and job creation; and working to improve high-speed internet access, particularly in rural areas.
  • Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Corporation, Weslaco, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local governments for obtaining funding resources to assist with job retention and job creation.
  • North East Texas Economic Development District, Texarkana, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local government as it relates to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
  • Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, Midland, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting local strategies designed to reinvigorate the region’s critical energy and transportation industries and helping identify opportunities for continued diversification and economic resiliency.
  • Rio Grande Council of Governments, El Paso, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local businesses and communities.
  • South East Texas Economic Development District, Beaumont, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring staff to seek grant funding for infrastructure improvements and support efforts to create good-paying jobs in the region.
  • South Texas Development Council, Laredo, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by building regional capacity to plan and implement strategies that will lead to regional economic resiliency.
  • Texoma Council of Governments, Sherman, Texas, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by coordinating with rural communities to strategically leverage resources that assist in local economic recovery.
  • Capital Area Council of Governments, Austin, Texas, will receive a $399,546 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing economic resources to support workforce recovery needs and stabilization tools for local economies.
  • Middle Rio Grande Development Council, Carrizo Springs, Texas, will receive a $397,181 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to elevate the workforce recovery and resiliency plans.

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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