March 12, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.3 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Support Rural Economic Recovery in Colorado

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.3 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Denver, Colorado, to help rural Colorado communities develop economic recovery and resiliency plans needed to support the growth of regional economies and businesses and advance economic resiliency efforts. This EDA grant, to be matched with $869,723 in local investment, is expected to create 100 jobs and generate $50 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to assist our rural communities in recovering from the pandemic and building back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will help approximately 50 rural Colorado communities build customized recovery and resiliency plans and create community partnership teams that will help regional economies build back stronger.”

“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. “The project supports core industries in rural Colorado by developing new, individual strategies to encourage investment and growth that will help them not only recover but create more resilient regional economies for the future.”

“The current public health and economic crisis has taken a toll across the country, especially in rural communities,” said Senator Michael Bennet. “We still have some hard months ahead as Colorado continues to rebuild and recover from this pandemic and its economic fallout, and this grant from the Department of Commerce will foster critical partnerships between the federal government and rural communities to help the hardest-hit businesses get back on their feet.”

“The pandemic recovery requires collaboration and innovation,” said Senator John Hickenlooper. “With the EDA's support, dozens of rural Colorado communities will receive an extra boost to spur recovery and build economic resiliency.”

“As we work to recover from this pandemic, we need to make sure all of our communities have the resources they need to get back on their feet,” said Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-01). “This funding from the Department of Commerce will help to ensure no community is left behind.”

Resulting plans will support community partnerships and be data-driven and actionable, helping Colorado rural businesses and economies create and retain jobs as well as be more resilient to pandemics and other disasters. This project also establishes a new model for a coordinated statewide approach to resilient and flexible rural economic development in the COVID-19 environment.

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.