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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Industrial Growth and Job Creation in Byron, Georgia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.9 million grant to the city of Byron, Georgia, for water system upgrades in the Benjamin Hawkins Industrial Park. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will provide a new well and 10-inch water main, electrical service, and a chemical feed building, enabling local businesses to expand while attracting others to the region. This EDA grant will be matched with $483,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain approximately 50 jobs and generate $3.5 million in private investment.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to respond to and recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the Benjamin Hawkins Industrial Park with increased water capacity to support business needs.”

“Economic Development Administration investments play an important role in advancing locally-led economic development strategies that drive business expansion efforts to create jobs and stronger, more resilient regional economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will provide the water capacity businesses in the region need to grow and create jobs.”

“These water infrastructure upgrades will support the operations of local businesses in Byron,” said Senator Jon Ossoff. “I will continue working to improve water infrastructure throughout Georgia.”

“I’ve been laser-focused on creating jobs and strengthening the quality of life for all Georgians,” said Senator Raphael Warnock. “It’s great to see that the American Rescue Plan will be investing nearly $2 million into Byron’s water infrastructure, creating jobs and empowering small businesses across Middle Georgia.”

“I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan Act so that Middle Georgia could get the resources it needs to economically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02). “The $1.9 million grant – made possible by ARPA – allows Byron to upgrade Benjamin Hawkins Industrial Park’s water system without breaking its city budget, and this project will help existing businesses as well as create opportunities for others to call Byron home as well.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Middle Georgia Regional Commission (MGRC). EDA funds MGRC 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.

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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