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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Expand Support for Startup Businesses in New Orleans, Louisiana

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $500,000 grant to Idea Village, New Orleans, Louisiana, to expand its entrepreneurial support programs. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will grow and scale Idea Village’s idea-stage accelerator program, IDEAinstitute, to serve additional entrepreneurs and expand the program’s reach to underserved communities. The EDA investment will be matched with $125,000 in local funds.

“The American Rescue Plan provides tailored support to communities and regions as they recover and build a better America from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn an idea into a scalable venture, helping them grow new businesses and create new jobs, which will lead to a diverse regional economy.”

“We know small companies can solve problems and change the world. The Idea Village is focused on the principle of supporting regional startups and big thinkers,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “We are excited that Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has recognized the Idea Village as a leader in developing place-based entrepreneurial ecosystems and made this award. By supporting and providing direct services to entrepreneurs, engaging the community, and supporting initiatives that leverage entrepreneurship, Louisiana will indeed accelerate innovation and commerce.”

“We need to ensure that our impressive economic recovery from COVID-19 lifts all boats and leaves no one behind,” said Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02). “This investment from the American Rescue Plan will allow Idea Village – an on-the-ground nonprofit – to uplift more underserved entrepreneurs in New Orleans than ever before, growing our small business ecosystem and training the business owners of tomorrow.”

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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