U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Expand Broadband Capacity in North Carolina
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Wilson, North Carolina, to increase broadband capacity and bolster the region’s ability to withstand future economic disruptions. This EDA grant, to be matched with $300,000 in local investment, is expected to create 39 jobs.
“President Biden is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will expand access to broadband, connecting more businesses and families to the internet, while providing opportunities for economic development.”
“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 deploy 28 miles of fiber infrastructure to boost broadband capacity, paving the way for increased business growth and economic development in the region.”
“This CARES Act funding will help the Wilson boost its connectivity,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Highspeed internet is foundational to economic prosperity, and I look forward to continuing to work with federal partners to invest in this critical infrastructure.”
“Last year, Congress passed the historic CARES Act to address some of the nation’s most pressing needs in the midst of the pandemic, including the need for reliable, high-speed internet for both rural and urban areas,” said Senator Richard Burr. “I’m pleased that this funding has been awarded to the city of Wilson to strengthen the area’s economy by enhancing its broadband capacity.”
“As students, workers, and small business owners continue to work from home, the need for fast, reliable internet has never been more evident,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I was proud to support the CARES Act last year to make this grant possible and am pleased that the city of Wilson will have increased broadband capability and economic development opportunities as a result.”
This project was made possible by the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments’ regional planning efforts, which EDA funds to 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.
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.