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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests $545,000 to Support Resiliency Efforts in Colorado

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced $545,000 in grants to support disaster and community economic resiliency efforts in Colorado.

“The Obama administration is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters and major economic challenges respond and recover,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “The EDA grants announced today for Colorado will help develop strategies to make the Town of Estes Park and the Central Western region more resilient to save businesses and jobs in the event of future economic challenges.”

The EDA investments announced today in Colorado include:

  • A $300,000 grant to the town of Estes Park to conduct a regional economic diversification and industry cluster job retention and recovery strategy in the wake of the Federally Declared flood disaster - and other natural disasters - that continue to impact the economy of the area. This grant will allow the Estes Park region to develop an effective strategy for greater job diversification and economic resiliency. One key component of this grant will be developing a specific plan to make use of Estes Park’s existing fiber optic ring to deliver improved broadband services to the Town and region. The strategy is expected to establish a collaborative action plan in response to the economic damage from these events by providing critical economic recovery services to the Estes Valley to boost business development and job growth in the Northern Colorado region.

“Using our existing fiber optic ring, this grant will help us develop a plan for regional broadband expansion,” said Estes Park Mayor Bill Pinkham. “That is a key component of improving and sustaining our local economy.”

  • A $245,000 grant to the Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning of Montrose to create a strategy that will help to improve and enhance the economic resiliency and sustainability of Delta and Gunnison counties following the recent closure of Oxbow Elk Creek coal mine. The mine closure is a regional economic emergency that is creating dire consequences for the affected counties. The adjustment strategy will provide an in-depth, data driven analysis that will prioritize action aimed at creating a more robust and diverse economy.

“Region 10 LEAP is pleased to work with EDA on this important project to better understand our economy and work to improve the economic outlook of our rural communities,” Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes said. “We are appreciative of this opportunity provided by EDA, grateful to Senator Udall's office for identifying the need to EDA, and thankful to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) as well as to Delta and Gunnison counties, who provided matching funds to make the grant possible.”

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.