U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Expand Business Incubator in Statesboro, Georgia, Opportunity Zone
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, Statesboro, Georgia, to boost business growth and resiliency efforts by expanding the City Center Business Incubator. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $500,000 in local funds, is expected to create 300 jobs, and generate $40 million in private investment.
“Hurricane Irma severely impacted Statesboro and Bulloch County by in 2017,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will strengthen the partnership between the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority and Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group and aid in their efforts to rebuild and reinforce the region’s economy. The Opportunity Zone designation will further transform the local economy.”
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping American communities impacted by natural disasters build the modern infrastructure necessary to attract new businesses,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will provide Statesboro with the resources necessary to better serve businesses in the community, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will drive additional investment to the region.”
“We created federal opportunity zones to drive private investment into underserved communities,” said Senator David Perdue. “This expanded business incubator will be an invaluable resource for local entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for economic development in Statesboro, all while helping the community continue recovering from Hurricane Irma.”
“This welcome investment into Statesboro will provide new growth for the region, which is still recovering from destructive hurricanes years later,” said Senator Kelly Loeffler. “I applaud Secretary Ross for securing this grant for the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority to expand its City Center Business Incubator. This expansion in an Opportunity Zone will create 300 jobs and generate $40 million in private investment. I thank President Trump and his administration for this latest grant, demonstrating their continued commitment to Georgia’s economy and national disaster recovery.”
“Statesboro’s highly successful City Center Business Incubator helps small businesses throughout rural Georgia, and this grant is a great example of how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s “Opportunity Zones” are spurring economic growth in communities throughout the country,” said Congressman Rick Allen (GA-12). “After being impacted by Hurricane Irma, I’m especially glad to see Statesboro receive this investment that will further help economic growth and job creation in the region.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia, which EDA funds 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 one of Georgia’s 260 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development 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 Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.
This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.
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.