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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Business Recovery and Resiliency Efforts in West Virginia

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Natural Capital Investment Fund, Inc., (NCIF), Charles Town, West Virginia, to provide the staffing and technical assistance capacity needed to deploy technical assistance and up to $5 million in capital to West Virginia businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This EDA grant, to be matched with $300,000 in local investment, is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 500 jobs, and generate $5 million in private investment.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will support the Natural Capital Investment Fund’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Operational and Technical Assistance Program Fund, which will provide West Virginian businesses with the capital and technical assistance they need to not only weather the current economic crisis, but also prepare for future growth.”

“The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia through its support for economic development programs and projects across West Virginia, including investments in Community Development Financial Institutions like the Natural Capital Investment Fund that help provide low-interest loans to small businesses that would otherwise have difficulty obtaining a loan,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “I am pleased the EDA is working with NCIF to help West Virginia businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Manchin. “This investment will not only support West Virginia businesses struggling from the pandemic, it will also create and retain good-paying jobs and generate private investment. I look forward to the economic growth this investment will bring to the Mountain State and I will continue to work with the EDA to bring funding that spurs economic development to West Virginia.”

“Our West Virginia businesses connect our communities and help spur economic growth across our state,” said Senator Capito. This support from EDA gives NCIF the capital it needs to direct funds to our small businesses, which will help them recover from the hardship created by COVID-19. Right now, it is critical that we supply our businesses with the assistance needed to make it through this pandemic. EDA investments in West Virginia are making a difference, and I’m proud to continue working to make sure our state receives the funding it deserves.”

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of any community, they provide goods and services to keep the local economy growing. However, since the start of the pandemic, many small businesses have experienced financial strain due to the unpredictability of COVID,” said Congressman David B. McKinley P.E. (WV-01). “This investment will help provide businesses across the region with the financial relief they deserve. Thank you, Economic Development Administration, for your commitment to supporting small businesses and local communities during these unprecedented times.”

“Our West Virginia small businesses are recovering and rebuilding from coronavirus shutdown. Natural Capital Investment Fund has a proven track record of helping local businesses thrive, and I’m glad this relief is being awarded to businesses in the region,” said Congressman Mooney (WV-02). “The investment will lead to job creation and economic opportunities.”

This project will provide operational assistance to allow Natural Capital Investment Fund, Inc., to launch a new Emergency Response Loan Fund, as well as to expand existing technical assistance programs to boost their capacity to provide advisory services to businesses in need.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 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.

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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