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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce

Annual Report


Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Disaster Relief 2 $3,758,725
Economic Adjustment Assistance 1 $2,028,092
Partnership Planning 2 $123,000
Public Works 2 $2,607,093
Regional Innovation Strategies 1 $500,000
Technical Assistance 1 $128,592
Total 9 $9,145,502

Mobile, Alabama is one of the fastest growing areas in the State, anchored by the shipbuilding industry and rapid growth in the aviation, steel, and chemical production sectors. While the area has benefited greatly from successful industrial development, local officials and community leaders have recognized that innovation is the key to balancing the largely one-dimensional economy. The Gulf Coast region currently lacks the technology-driven innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems needed to support advanced manufacturing, workforce development, supply chain growth, and cluster development.

In September 2016, EDA invested $2,912,142 in Disaster Relief to Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc./Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce to create an innovation hub and support entrepreneurial development. This EDA investment funds the acquisition and renovation of the former Threaded Fasteners Building in Mobile to house Innovation PortAL, a high-tech business incubator and accelerator program. The new incubator will provide access to intense mentoring services, investment sourcing, and a vast networking system, all of which will help facilitate new business formation, job growth, increased tax revenue, and long-term economic diversification.

The program’s outreach activities in the surrounding distressed communities will promote workforce development initiatives and strengthen innovation and entrepreneurial capacity.