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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Provide Critical Infrastructure to Eastern Slope Airport in Fryeburg, Maine

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the Eastern Slope Airport Authority of Fryeburg, Maine, to help construct an aircraft hangar that will support increased aviation activity in the region. The EDA grant, to serve a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $450,000 in state and local funds and is expected to generate $1 million in private investment.

“From day one, the Trump Administration put infrastructure at the top of our agenda,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new Eastern Slope Airport aircraft hangar will boost business development and economic growth efforts in this critical region.”

“Maine’s airports are vital pieces of our state’s transportation network and are beneficial to our rural communities,” said Senator Collins. “By allowing Eastern Slope Airport to construct a new aircraft hangar and supporting maintenance services, this grant will help create new jobs and attract additional investments to Fryeburg and the surrounding region.”

“It’s never been more important to invest in Maine infrastructure,” said Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02). “This $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, as well as the $450,000 in local and state funds that will supplement it, will help generate investment and economic growth for western Maine. I will continue to work across the aisle to help rebuild and improve roads, bridges, and airports here in Fryeburg and across the country.”

This project will support the airport authority’s establishment of an on-site operation that provides fuel, maintenance, repairs, and other aviation-supported activities, leading to the creation of jobs and further private investment.

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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