|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||5||$2,766,175|
The Mississippi Delta region has long been isolated from major markets and employment hubs; however, the region’s rural geography is no longer the hurdle it once was. Internet connectivity is eliminating isolation and is bringing opportunities from across the world to rural Louisiana’s front door.
In 2014, EDA awarded $1.2 million to the town of Vidalia, Louisiana, to support the construction of the Vidalia Technology Center. The Technology Center will house business incubation and the termination/distribution hub of a fiber optic cable crossing from Natchez over the Mississippi River Bridge. The proposed technology will enable emerging entrepreneurs to compete globally through new export promotions, as well as create viable employment opportunities for the region. The enhanced internet connectivity will also enhance efforts to market the City's industrial park and river port.
In addition, broadband technology will support public response to public emergencies and overcome rural isolation which is magnified during disasters — a critical asset in an area that has been impacted by four major disaster declarations in the last 10 years. Access to broadband communication, as well as the Technology Center’s redundant power source for the broadband technology, will make both the public and business sectors more resilient and will strengthen and speed the recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes and other natural disasters.