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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Business Development and Job Growth in Columbus County, North Carolina

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 that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.1 million grant to Columbus County, North Carolina, for water system improvements that will support business growth and retention. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

The project will ensure that existing and future industry locating in the International Logistics Park have the water system capacity they need to grow, thrive and create jobs. This EDA grant will be matched with $2.1 million in local funds and is expected to help create 110 jobs and generate $17.9 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden and this Administration continue to support community-led efforts to strengthen and grow regional economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the additional water system capacity needed for local businesses to create good-paying jobs and build economic resiliency in a region that has been impacted by the declining use of coal.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost recovery efforts in Columbus County,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will extend water to the International Logistics Park through construction of two new wells and the installation of a 22,250-linear-feet water main.”

“Smart investments in infrastructure will create more jobs and boost local economies,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Columbus County is a great place to live and work, and this grant will help make necessary improvements for years to come.”

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. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeast Economic Development Commission. EDA funds the Southeast Economic Development Commission 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.

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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