April 8, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.45 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Improve Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.45 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Forsyth County, North Carolina, to repair structural damages at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem caused by Hurricane Michael and to offset additional economic adversity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This EDA grant, to be matched with $1.6 million in local investment, is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 100 jobs, and generate $2.5 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to unleashing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Smith Reynolds Airport will increase operations at the facility and support additional aviation activity in the region.”

“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. “Hangar repairs completed through this EDA investment will help ensure job retention, creation and investment in the region’s aviation industry as it recovers from the economic effects of the pandemic and other disasters.”

“This CARES Act funding will go a long way in creating jobs, speeding up economic recovery, and supporting Forsyth County’s airport,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

“Last year, Congress passed the historic CARES Act to bring immediate relief to American families, businesses, and key industries,” said Senator Richard Burr. “It’s critical that we continue to invest these resources into local economies so we can recover from the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. This funding will do just that by enhancing safety and activity at Smith Reynolds Airport, supporting job growth, and strengthening the Triad’s regional economy.”

“This grant will ensure Smith Reynolds Airport has the proper resources to recover from Hurricane Michael and the COVID-19 pandemic by creating jobs, increasing private investment, and improving infrastructure,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I'm proud to have voted for the CARES Act, which made this grant possible, and I'm eager to see the positive impact this investment will have on Forsyth County's economy.”

“Having just visited the Smith Reynolds Airport last week, I heard directly from airport officials about how challenging the last year has been because of the pandemic,” said Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10). “I was proud to have helped craft and ultimately vote for the CARES Act and I’m glad to see funding from it being used to support the airport as it begins to bounce back. Furthermore, I know that the jobs created by this project will have a big impact as Forsyth County continues its recovery from the pandemic.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, which EDA funds to EDA funds to 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 (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.