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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.6 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Alaskan Native Business and Improve Food Security on Savoonga

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.6 million grant to Kawerak, Inc., Nome, Alaska, to support and expand a successful Alaskan Native enterprise on Savoonga through equipment procurement and facility construction. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan’s Indigenous Communities program.

This project will facilitate the expansion of an existing, Native-owned livestock enterprise on Savoonga, Alaska, by providing the resources needed to efficiently process locally harvested reindeer meat for commercial sale. This EDA grant is expected to create 133 jobs, retain 77 jobs, and generate $612,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden is committed to supporting indigenous communities in their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide the equipment and infrastructure needed to expand a successful Alaskan Native business, creating new employment opportunities for the community.”

“Indigenous communities were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will help create new, good-paying jobs for residents of Savoonga while improving local food security.”

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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