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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.8 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Increase High-Speed Internet Connectivity in El Dorado County, California

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.8 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to El Dorado County, California, to increase internet connectivity.

This project will expand the reach of high-speed internet in portions of El Dorado County, promoting job creation and economic diversification in the region. This EDA grant will be matched with $420,270 in local funds.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This award reaffirms the President’s commitment to increasing internet accessibility throughout the United States and lays a strong foundation for the critical investments we will make to expand high-speed internet thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. This investment will enhance the connectivity of small businesses, distance learners, underserved residents, and remote workers in El Dorado County, including areas with unaffordable, non-existent, or limited internet service.”

“The pandemic shined a light on the digital divide holding back too many of our rural and low-income communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California is taking bold action to close this gap, and we thank the Biden Administration for its commitment to increasing internet accessibility across the country – including today’s grant that will help small businesses, underserved residents, and others in El Dorado County access this crucial service.”

“High-speed internet is essential in the modern economy,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “Fast, reliable internet access is critical for entrepreneurs building their businesses, students completing their homework, and families receiving tele-health appointments. I am proud this federal funding is investing in expanding internet connectivity in El Dorado County.”

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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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