U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $32 Million to Help Florida Businesses and Communities Rebuild in Wake of Hurricane Irma
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $32 million grant to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to fund the state’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program, which, in turn will help businesses rebuild following the destruction caused Hurricane Irma.
“The Trump Administration has always remained committed to aiding the American communities devastated in the wake of hurricanes and other natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This program and others like it throughout the government help Florida towns and cities rebuild following the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.”
“This money will go a long way toward helping Florida businesses get back on their feet,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). “Senator Rubio and I fought hard to get this money. I’m glad to see it’s finally out the door and on its way to help those who need it.”
“Our communities are still working to rebuild after Hurricane Irma caused extreme damage to homes and businesses in various parts of Jacksonville and other areas in Florida,” said Rep. Lawson. “It is key that the federal and state government work collaboratively to ensure our neighborhoods are protected following hurricanes and other natural disasters. This funding is critical for our communities to continue their restoration efforts, regain ground and move forward.”
“Although a year has passed, the heavy losses caused by Hurricane Irma, especially in the Central Florida region, continue to be felt throughout our community,” said Representative Dennis A. Ross (FL-15). “For that reason, I am thrilled that EDA has awarded this $32 million grant to help job creators in our state rebuild from the destruction caused by the storm. By invigorating our small businesses, this grant will help ease some of our neighbors’ suffering and bolster our efforts to strengthen the economic resiliency of our state. This grant is another successful step on the road to recovery, and I look forward to its prompt disbursement to our most severely impacted businesses.”
“This is welcome assistance for Suncoast businesses still struggling a year later from the impact of Irma,” said 16th District Congressman Vern Buchanan.
The Revolving Loan Fund will provide businesses with the affordable capital they need to repair, replace, and improve the operations which were disrupted by Hurricane Irma. It also provides access to capital for businesses to start-up and expand in Florida, encouraging job creation and economic diversification throughout the state.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
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.