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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Capitalize Revolving Loan Fund to Serve Small Businesses in Northern Illinois

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Rockford Local Development Corporation, Rockford, Illinois, to capitalize and administer a Revolving Loan Fund. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will provide gap financing to small, local businesses in Boone, McHenry and Winnebago counties to help them recover, grow, and create new employment opportunities. The EDA investment will be matched with $400,000 in local funds and is expected to create 100 jobs, retain 25 jobs and generate $6 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to providing local businesses with the resources they need to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide needed capital to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Illinois, creating a stronger, more robust regional economy.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost business recovery efforts in Rockford,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The Rockford Local Development Corporation’s new Revolving Loan Fund will provide much-needed capital to small businesses and entrepreneurs in support of job growth and business expansion.”

“Our economy can’t truly recover without bringing our Main Streets and small businesses back to their full strength, and I’m pleased to see another $1.6 million in federal dollars creating jobs and opportunity in the Rockford region,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Delivering grants to commercial corridors and entrepreneurs has been a cornerstone of my economic recovery plan for Illinois, and our impact goes farther when federal, state, and local leaders work together on behalf of Illinois families.”

“This federal investment by the EDA will help create jobs and support small businesses in Boone, McHenry, and Winnebago counties,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “That’s why we passed the America Rescue Plan – to provide relief for families and local communities that were hit especially hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll continue advocating to ensure every corner of our state has access to these federal investments.”

“The economic impact from the pandemic hit countless small and local businesses hard, but this federal support from the American Rescue Plan can help create a more equitable and resilient economy for entrepreneurs in the Rockford area,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “I’ll keep advocating for the resources communities need to grow and thrive.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic placed incredible burdens on our small businesses and it is essential that we support them as they rebuild and recover,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17). “I’m so pleased to join Sec. Raimondo to announce $1.6 million for the Rockford Local Development Administration to provide assistance to small businesses in the local area. Not only will this protect and create jobs, but it will set those hit hardest up for success.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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