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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Small Businesses on Fort Apache Indian Reservation

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.7 million grant to the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation, Inc., Fort Apache, Arizona, to support small business expansion and growth on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation through the development of new commercial infrastructure. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Indigenous Communities program.

This project will support the renovation of an existing residential building for use as office and commercial space, providing operating infrastructure for Tribal entrepreneurs as they start and grow businesses on reservation land. This EDA grant will be matched with $406,855 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 190 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 Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide critical infrastructure for the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, supporting the diversification of the economy and the creation of new jobs in the community.”

“Tribal communities were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will help the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation plan for future business development and economic growth, creating opportunities for job creation for Tribal members.”

“We’re proud to help secure over $4 million for Fort Apache Indian Reservation small businesses. This historic investment will fuel growth and create more economic opportunities, helping Arizonans continue to thrive,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Indigenous Communities program, which allocates $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding specifically to support the needs of Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities. The program supports these partners to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. Indigenous communities are also eligible and encouraged to apply under all of EDA’s other programs. 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.

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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