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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Economic Diversification at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Reservation in Northern Michigan

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Harbor Springs, Michigan, to support economic diversification strategies for the Tribe. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program.

This investment is a good example of EDA’s commitment to Indigenous communities, as well as to addressing Equity as one of its top investment priorities. This EDA grant will support the hiring of an economic recovery coordinator, who will assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy, and the hiring of a planning consultant to help create the strategy.

“President Biden is committed to supporting Tribal communities in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians create job opportunities and build economic resiliency that will help them stay competitive and strong during future economic disruptions.”

“Tribal communities were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will provide a blueprint for the future of the community as they work to draw private investment to the reservation, support Tribal entrepreneurs and spur economic growth in surrounding areas of Northern Lower Michigan.”

“I am grateful to our federal partners for investing in the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Our strong tribal communities are brimming with entrepreneurial spirit and talent and this grant will empower them to start new small businesses, diversify their local economy, and create good-paying jobs. Michigan has added jobs for 11 months straight and our unemployment rate decreased to a low of 4.4%, and we must work together to ensure every working family shares in this prosperity. Today’s grant will help us meet our goal of investing in every community and empowering them to succeed.”

“Tribal communities play an important role in spurring economic activity and delivering vital resources to families and residents across Michigan,” said Senator Gary Peters. “I was proud to help enact these resources through the American Rescue Plan – the largest-ever federal investment in tribal communities – to ensure the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians can not only recover from the pandemic, but rebuild their economy even stronger. I was pleased to have met with tribal and business leaders of the Little Traverse Bay tribe to see firsthand how the American Rescue Plan has already begun to help strengthen communities across Northern Michigan – and I’ll continue working to ensure they have the support and resources they need to be competitive in a 21st century economy.”

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program, which allocates $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding specifically to support the needs of Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities. The program supports these partners to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. Indigenous communities are also eligible and encouraged to apply under all of EDA’s other programs.

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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