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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $732,080 to Renovate Historic Building to Support Entrepreneurial and Start-up Growth in Vincennes, Indiana Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $732,080 grant to the city of Vincennes, Indiana, to renovate the historic Pantheon Theatre and convert it into a shared coworking, training, and meeting space to support entrepreneurs and small business growth. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $183,020 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 50 jobs and generate $7 million in private investment.

“Vincennes has been significantly impacted by the downturn in the mining industry, and the Pantheon Theatre project will bring much-needed economic stability by providing business development services,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are pleased to support Vincennes’ strategy to diversify its economic base, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract new investment that will support the region’s overall economic resilience and recovery efforts.”

“A strong and robust Main Street economy is the foundation of a strong American economy,” said Congressman Dr. Larry Buschon. “I am pleased to see this grant awarded to the city of Vincennes, which will help the city advance its efforts to grow the local economy and jobs. This opportunity is provided by the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that helped lead to America’s strongest economy ever, and will continue to provide immense opportunity through these tough times. Southwest Indiana is home to hardworking, talented Hoosiers that will see this project through and continue to grow the economic diversity of the region.”

The funding announced today will serve one of Indiana’s 156 Opportunity Zones. 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.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Indiana Development Commission, which EDA funds to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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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