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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $19.6 Million to Build Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in Support of Business Growth in the Northern Mariana Islands

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $19.6 million grant to the Department of Finance of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to fund construction of disaster-resilient infrastructure needed to ensure continuity of government operations and support business growth. The EDA grant is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

“The Biden Administration is committed to helping the Northern Mariana Islands build back better from the damage caused by Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This critical investment will help to ensure the continuity of critical business-focused government operations in the event of future natural disasters, and that this community can more fully recover from the last one.”

“EDA is pleased to partner with the Northern Mariana Islands as they work to recover from Super Typhoon Yutu,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support construction of a typhoon-resilient Economic Business Center for the Department of Finance, as well as the acquisition of a financial management information system.”

“We are tremendously grateful to the EDA for their partnership as we continue to recover from the devastating effects of Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018,” said Governor Ralph DLG. Torres. “This new economic business center for the Department of Finance will enhance the CNMI’s ability to rebuild its economy in the long-term by improving our current business processes, assisting small businesses, and serving as an incubator for the development of new industries to diversify our economy. Our goal is to create jobs for our citizens, and this grant funding from EDA will certainly help us create these jobs and retain talent here on our islands.”

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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