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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

$38 Million in U.S. Department of Commerce Grants Support Economic Recovery Efforts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Iowa Governor Culver, U.S. Sen. Harkin, U.S. Rep. Loebsack, and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett applaud effort to help city rebound from 2008 floods

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced $38 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help the region rebound economically from the 2008 floods. The investment includes $35 million to the city of Cedar Rapids to assist with the construction of the new downtown events center and $3 million to the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to build the Regional Commerce Center and Small Business Incubator.

"The Obama Administration is committed to helping Iowa, and other states, impacted by natural disasters recover, rebuild and create jobs," Locke said. "These EDA grants will go a long way in helping Cedar Rapids revitalize its downtown business and entertainment center and stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit needed to create new, sustainable jobs."

"This announcement represents one more step in the rebirth of Cedar Rapids," said Governor Culver. "Through our I-JOBS program, we are proud to be a partner in this important project. This will help in the recovery of Cedar Rapids, while putting Iowans to work. I look forward to continuing to work with our local, state, and federal partners as together we move Iowa forward."

"This funding is a win-win for Iowa: it will create jobs, while at the same time boosting economic development in an area that is still struggling from the worst natural disaster to hit Iowa. The solution is not to just rebuild, but to rebuild stronger and better than ever. These grants are a key part of that effort," said Senator Harkin.

"This funding is a game-changer for Cedar Rapids. It will positively impact industries that have been hardest hit by the recession, creating good-paying jobs for Iowans and greatly increasing economic development in downtown Cedar Rapids," said Loebsack. "This funding will help create a resource for small businesses, which are the backbone of Iowa's economy. This funding will also build a state-of-the-art convention center, so that Iowa's second largest city will be able to attract more businesses and tourists, further bolstering an economy that has been struggling in the wake of the economic downturn and the Floods of 2008."

"This project will be a catalyst for more investment in the downtown, that investment will create hundreds of jobs and increased tax base," said Mayor Corbett.

The administration prioritized the recovery of the state, since the 2008 floods, which was the worst in Cedar Rapids' history. President Obama will travel to Iowa on Tuesday to meet with workers, farmers, small business owners, and local leaders to share ideas for continuing to grow the economy and to put Americans back to work. Two weeks ago, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Iowa City, Iowa to announce $30 million in EDA grants to support recovery efforts after the 2008 flood.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov): This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.