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Press Release

Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.2 million grant to the city of Austin, Minnesota, to support business and job growth and economic diversification efforts by making infrastructure upgrades at the Creekside Business Park. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.

This grant will allow for development at a 57-acre parcel at the business park that will bring new business and job opportunities to the region. The EDA investment will be matched with $2.2 million in local funds and is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 50 jobs and generate $200 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan offers direct relief to American communities as they work to build a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide critical infrastructure needed to attract businesses and private investment to Austin, diversifying the local economy in a region impacted by the decline in coal use.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support locally-driven strategies to boost economic recovery efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA award will pave the way for industrial growth, new job opportunities and long-term regional economic resiliency in Austin and throughout Mower County.”

“Investments in our infrastructure serve as down payments on the long-term economic well-being of our state,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “This funding for the Creekside Business Park will help spur economic opportunity and create good-paying jobs for communities across Austin.”

“Strong infrastructure and economic diversity are cornerstones of a healthy local economy,” said Senator Tina Smith. “This funding will help the city of Austin make key infrastructure upgrades at the Creekside Business Park that will support hundreds of jobs, generate hundreds of millions in private investment, and boost economic diversity in the area. I’m proud of our work to pass the American Rescue Plan, which made investments like these possible.”

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. 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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