February 25, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $842,522 in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Economic Recovery and Resiliency Efforts in Berkshires Region of Massachusetts

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $842,522 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to develop and implement an economic recovery and resiliency plan and provide technical assistance to bolster the region’s ability to withstand future economic disruptions. This EDA grant will be matched with more than $200,000 in local investment.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to helping communities across the nation implement strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will help the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission strengthen regional collaboration and develop new protocols for coordination of business support during emergency situations.”

“I applaud the CARES Act funding designated for the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC),” said Senator Ed Markey. “Throughout the pandemic, we have asked our communities to bear the burden of this public health crisis. It’s critical that this assistance reach those working every day to increase their community’s resilience in these unprecedented times, but our work cannot stop here. I will continue to fight for increased funding for our cities and towns in the next coronavirus rescue package and ensure that they have the funding to not only survive this pandemic, but thrive as we recover."

“As one of the chief architects of the CARES Act, I am thrilled to see this funding designated to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to directly assist the community it serves,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means (MA-01). “Our cities and towns have been hard hit by this pandemic but we’ve worked hard at the federal level to ensure that they have the ability to stay afloat and provide necessary assistance and resources to their residents during this overwhelming time of need. I am committed to ensuring that more funding of this kind to ensure continued resiliency is passed.”

The investment will fund expansion and revision of Berkshire County’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to support regional resiliency planning. The project will also help identify and support recovery projects, rebuild the region’s online data and economic indicator tracking capabilities, provide technical assistance and capacity building opportunities to local businesses, and support workforce and industry-building efforts to facilitate meaningful work toward economic recovery, growth, and resiliency in the long term.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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 makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.