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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million to Protect Businesses from Flooding in Dubuque, Iowa

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the city of Dubuque, Iowa, to help protect local businesses from flooding by replacing existing flood gates and pumps. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 152 jobs, retain 436 jobs and generate $15.5 million in private investment, serving a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone.

“The Trump Administration is working hard to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and improve economic resilience in the wake of natural disasters,” said Secretary Ross. “These investments in the city of Dubuque will support new flood prevention infrastructure protecting business and industry, and attracting more investment to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone.”

“As Iowans continue to experience devastation from catastrophic flooding, we need to leverage all of the tools and resources at our disposal to help them; that includes moving ahead with both short-and-long-term investments in infrastructure,” said Governor Reynolds. “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Commerce on this critical project. Iowa’s participation in the Opportunity Zones Program will continue to serve as a catalyst for job creation, critical development, and revitalization in our communities.”

“Dubuque has worked hard to reduce flooding in neighborhoods and business districts in the Bee Branch area,” said Senator Chuck Grassley. “This award will help boost locally-driven efforts to mitigate future flooding and make the community an even better place to live, work and play.”

“With flooding continuing to threaten Eastern Iowa communities, the need for more resilient infrastructure has never been more pressing,” said Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer. “On a recent tour of Dubuque’s flood infrastructure with local officials, I saw firsthand their commitment to helping businesses and our community thrive even when confronted by challenges. This grant will allow Dubuque to make needed investments in the infrastructure so businesses can grow and thrive here in Eastern Iowa.”

This project will address economic resiliency efforts in response to recent regional disaster flooding in north-east Iowa, by leveraging public and private sector resources to expand and replace existing flood gates and pumps in Dubuque. Reducing the negative impacts of heavy rainfall and flooding will help create a durable and resilient local economy that can retain and attract businesses. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA). EDA funds ECIA to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding announced today goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zone designations spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide.

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 (
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.

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