U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Establish Business Incubator in Fairhope, Alabama
Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the city of Fairhope, Alabama, to establish a business resource hub for technology entrepreneurs. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.
This project will assist small businesses to create new jobs and economic opportunities in Fairhope and the surrounding community, which has been impacted by the closure of a local coal power plant and a significant reduction in coal imports. The EDA investment will be matched with $625,000 in local funds and is expected to create 276 jobs and generate $1 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
“President Biden is committed to ensuring that our communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This business incubator will provide a place for technology entrepreneurs and small companies to create new jobs for the people of Alabama.”
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will bolster the growth of Fairhope’s economy, leading to new, good-paying jobs.”
“Our country was built on hardworking entrepreneurs starting businesses and creating good paying jobs, so today’s announcement is exciting news and will ensure Fairhope continues to grow and lead for years to come,” said Congressman Jerry L. Carl (AL-01).
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (SARPC). EDA funds SARPC 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.
EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
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.