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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.1 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Assist Disadvantaged Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Bluefield, West Virginia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART), Bluefield, West Virginia, to provide critical gap financing to disadvantaged businesses and entrepreneurs. This EDA grant, to be matched with $273,750 in local investment, is expected to create or retain nearly 100 jobs and generate $2.3 million in private investment.

“The Biden Administration is committed to helping the communities of West Virginia recover from the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in CART will foster new businesses, diversify product lines and streamline manufacturing processes while creating and retaining jobs.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment responds to immediate needs while helping to ensure that West Virginia’s economy can build back better and stronger.”

“Once again we thank the EDA in every way for their commitment to the communities within our great state,” said Governor Jim Justice. “I’ve always said I’m not a politician, I’m a business guy. And as a business guy, I know that the ripple effects of this $1.1 million will be off-the-charts for our people and businesses in Bluefield and across southern West Virginia.”

“Today’s announcement on the EDA’s investment in Bluefield is great news for our state and will spur economic growth in southern West Virginia,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “The EDA continues to be a strong partner to the Mountain State and this investment to the Center for Applied Research and Technology will support and expand West Virginia businesses, promote new business growth in the region and create and retain good-paying jobs. I will continue to work with the EDA to advocate for funding to boost our economy in West Virginia and I look forward to seeing the economic growth from this project.”

“Our small businesses in West Virginia are truly the backbone of our economy,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “It’s great to see this support heading into southern West Virginia to help our entrepreneurs recover from effects of the pandemic and foster new business opportunities. I’m thankful for the role that the Center for Applied Research and Technology is playing in Mercer County, and I commend all they do to create opportunities for economic development in the region. I can’t wait to see the positive impact this project will create in our communities.”

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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