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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $8 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tribal Enterprises on the Fort Independence Reservation

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding an $8 million grant to the Fort Independence Community of Paiutes of Fort Independence Reservation, Independence, California, to support Tribal enterprises on the Fort Independence Reservation. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will support the construction of a new gas station and travel center on Tribal lands. The EDA investment is expected to create 64 jobs and retain 14 jobs, according to grantee estimates.

“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 assist the Fort Independence Community of Paiutes of Fort Independence Reservation in growing and expanding an important Tribal enterprise to increase the economic resiliency of the Tribe.”

“Tribal communities were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will enhance the Tribe’s existing gas station by providing a more amenity-rich facility with increased fueling capacity, creating job opportunities while also providing resiliency to future economic shocks.”

“This investment will create new job opportunities and help the Fort Independence Community of Paiutes of Fort Independence Reservation to strengthen their economic resilience,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We are grateful for the Biden Administration’s continued work to support the recovery and growth of local economies throughout our state.”

“I was proud to support the American Rescue Plan because it delivers for all communities – including tribal nations,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “Tribal communities were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 Pandemic and deserve our support as they recover. This funding will create jobs and greater economic opportunity on the Fort Independence Reservation.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

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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