|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
During FY 2012, EDA made 11 grants totaling approximately $10 million throughout the State of Arkansas. After experiencing severe flooding in the spring of 2011, EDA responded by investing $8.75 million in projects designed to help communities make their economies stronger and more disaster resilient. These projects include a wide-range of activities, such as rebuilding and improving vital infrastructure, providing workforce training, and encouraging trade and exports. By supporting growth in the state’s tourism, aviation, and manufacturing industries, these investments are expected to create or retain 140 jobs according to grantee estimates.
Investment Spotlight: EDA Investment Supports the Return of Tourism in Flooded Region
Following a significant loss of manufacturing jobs due to outsourcing, the economy of Van Buren County, Arkansas, has become heavily dependent on tourism. Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the city of Fairfield Bay experienced significant flooding in 2011 which damaged the city’s conference center and marina. The flooding forced numerous business closures and threatened the viability of additional businesses and amenities, all vital elements in attracting visitors to the region. Repair of the conference center and rebuilding essential infrastructure became imperative to restoring economic activity and jobs, as well as attracting new business investments to the region.
In September of 2012, EDA invested $1.1 million to renovate the Fairfield Bay Conference Center and the construct essential road infrastructure. The completion of the project promises to create significant opportunities for jobs in tourism, marketing, and retail fields, as well as encourage new businesses and industries to locate and remain in the economically distressed area.