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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Economic Development Administration Continues Resiliency Efforts in the Gulf 10 Years after Hurricane Katrina

EDA Invests $2.1 Million to Promote Entrepreneurship and Trade in Louisiana

WASHINGTON – As the nation marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine was in New Orleans today to announce several efforts the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is undertaking in and around New Orleans to promote economic growth and resiliency, including $2.1 million in grants for the region as well as a partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA)


“To keep America competitive in the global economy, it is critical that communities hit by economic challenges are prepared to meet whatever obstacles lie ahead as they rebuild,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Erskine. “EDA has consistently supported projects in and around the Gulf Coast region, and we will continue to work to ensure the economic recovery of the region that faced such devastation in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita a decade ago.”

EDA’s partnership with the Delta Regional Authority will deliver an economic resiliency training course for public officials and community stakeholders throughout the Delta region. The course will focus on training elected and public officials, and on-the-ground practitioners, to implement proactive strategies and strategic planning methods that will increase community capacity to plan for, contend with, and rebound from a disaster. This coursework will also prepare public officials to deploy assistance for local businesses and industry to reduce the extent of damage when a disaster does strike.

"We know that natural and economic crisis will strike whether we are prepared or not. Post-Katrina New Orleans is a good example of local leadership recognizing the need for improved readiness to better withstand these crisis and bounce back stronger than before,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the DRA. “This program will help educate our local leadership on how to better plan for post-disaster resilience, preparing for that immediate recovery phase that supports families, businesses, and communities in getting back to work.”

Since Hurricane Katrina, EDA has supported the recovery of the region, investing in innovation, entrepreneurship, and resiliency planning. The investments announced today build on earlier efforts and include:

  • $1,150,000 to the Capital Region Planning Commission to support renovations to create a new Capital Region Operations and Resource Center that will serve as a disaster response and resiliency center for the region, as well as for fellow coastal planning districts requiring an emergency evacuation shelter and assistance.
  • $400,000 to the Idea Village to position New Orleans as the entrepreneurial hub of the South. The funding will assist with the expansion of Idea Village's Entrepreneur Season to provide increased technical assistance to New Orleans businesses through seminars, targeted business assistance, and facilitating entrepreneurs' access to capital.
  • $300,000 to Propeller to support the growth of regional entrepreneurship in the water cluster through its Water Accelerator program. The program will provide business consulting services, technical assistance, mentoring, and other resources as needed to facilitate the growth of an estimated 10 to 20 businesses. Additionally, SENO will convene 10-15 workshops, panels, or events to connect regional members of the water clusters with key stakeholders, and perform outreach with cluster firms and industry associations to determine best practices to ensure cluster growth.
  • $250,000 in Laplace, Louisiana to support a strategic plan and marketing study to determine the potential impact of building a new container terminal at the Port of South Louisiana. According to the grantee, the current port infrastructure is nearing capacity, and a container terminal would increase the amount of cargo the port can process, helping the South Louisiana region increase its exports and competitiveness in the global economy.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading 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.