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Press Releases

Contact: Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
Thursday, September 13, 2012

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4 Million to Support Innovation and Minimize Impacts of Natural Disasters in Northern Arizona

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced a $4 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the city of Flagstaff, Arizona. The funding will help the city build a new facility for the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET). The new building will also serve as an alternate emergency response center where first responders will be able to efficiently deliver vital services to communities and tribal nations during natural disasters. The project is expected to create 300 jobs and leverage $70 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

"This $4 million Economic Development Administration investment in Arizona is an example of the Obama administration's commitment to supporting local job creation and economic growth," said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "The grant announced today will not only help grow the local economy in Flagstaff, but will also ensure that first responders have the facilities and tools they need to efficiently respond to natural disasters."

NACET is a business incubator that provides office space, wet and dry laboratories, and light manufacturing production space to start-up companies in the Flagstaff region. The new facility will provide space for use by participating companies as well as those that have graduated from the incubator program. It will also include a conference center that will be designated for use as a local emergency operations center in the case of a major disaster.

The project is part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) (PDF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. The activities consist primarily of leveraging existing resources and authorities to make a positive impact for communities affected by disasters.

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.