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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million to Support Business Development in Swainsboro, Georgia Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Emanuel County Development Authority of Swainsboro, Georgia, to make critical water and sewer system improvements needed to support business growth. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $491,230 in local investment and is expected to help create 100 new jobs and spur $25 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is working every day to fulfill our commitment to revitalize our country’s infrastructure,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will bring new business to the Emanuel County Opportunity Zone and, combined with special Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax incentives, will allow the local economy to grow and thrive.”

“Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones are incentivizing critical investment in communities across the country,” said Governor Kemp. “I appreciate this administration’s commitment to strengthening rural America’s infrastructure and spurring job creation.”

“Infrastructure investments and improvements are key to driving economic growth in our communities,” said Senator Perdue. “This project will stimulate job creation and business development in the Emanuel County Opportunity Zone and the surrounding areas. I give President Trump and Secretary Ross high marks for continuing to make infrastructure and economic development a priority.”

“This project will build upon the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act right here in Georgia’s 12th District,” said Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12). “These critical water and sewer system improvements will revitalize Emanuel County, a designated Opportunity Zone, and spur more job opportunities and investment in our community.”

This project will help construct water and sewer improvements to serve a sawmill under construction, a proposed spin-off pallet manufacturing plant, and the remainder of undeveloped property in an industrial park south of Swainsboro. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission. EDA funds Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission 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.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (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.

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

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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