March 12, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.25 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Boost Recovery Efforts of Small Businesses Across the Southeast

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.25 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Operation Hope, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, to support small business coronavirus pandemic response and resiliency efforts in the southeastern United States. This EDA grant will be matched with $567,918 in local investment.

“President Biden is working tirelessly every day to deliver bold action and immediate relief for American families as the country grapples with converging crises, including the coronavirus pandemic,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Operation Hope will provide technical assistance and guidance to small, minority- and women-owned businesses across the southeast to help them remain viable and resilient in the face of the pandemic.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will allow Operation Hope build capacity to coordinate outreach activities, build training programs, and recruit community partners to better assist small business owners and entrepreneurs as they adjust to the effects of the pandemic.”

“Small businesses across our state have been hit hard by this pandemic through no fault of their own,” said Senator Jon Ossoff. “Without adequate access to relief, many have had to close their doors and lay off workers. I’m thrilled to be working with the Biden Administration to get relief to the businesses who need it most.”

“This significant grant is a lifeline for small, minority and women-owned businesses in Georgia, providing critical support and assistance that will help them weather and thrive beyond the economic devastation of this once-in-a-century pandemic,” said Senator Raphael Warnock. “I’ll keep working with the Biden-Harris Administration to strengthen these and other federal investments that will keep our small businesses and economy strong.”

Small businesses in large metro areas, opportunity zones, distressed communities and rural communities impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will be targeted. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Atlanta Regional Commission, which EDA funds to help 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.

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 (
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.