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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce

Annual Report


Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Disaster Relief 1 $750,000
Public Works 3 $1,575,288
Regional Innovation Strategies 2 $960,707
Planning 2 $239,000
2 $228,592
Total 10 $3,753,587

Over the last three decades, the global automotive sector has established a noticeable presence in the Southeast United States. From Mercedes in Alabama to BMW in South Carolina, many automotive manufacturers are seeking to take advantage of the Southeast’s comparatively inexpensive cost of doing business, warm climate, and excellent transportation networks.

Looking to seize opportunities in the rapidly emerging automotive cluster, northeast Georgia communities sought to leverage its robust transportation network and abundant land available for industrial development by recruiting automotive suppliers to the region. When a German-based manufacturer of precision automotive announced plans to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in northeast Georgia, the region needed critical wastewater improvements to meet the company’s needs.

In 2015, EDA assisted the city of Lavonia and the counties of Franklin and Hart with a $700,000 Public Works grant that will assist with needed wastewater improvements. As a result of EDA’s participation, it is estimated that the region will gain 400 new manufacturing jobs and $54,000,000 in foreign direct investment in Hart County’s Gateway II Industrial Park. Furthermore, several hundred additional acres will be opened for future development.