March 22, 2021

U.S. Economic Development Administration Marks Milestone $1 Billion in CARES Act Grants Awarded

On Thursday, March 11, President Joseph Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law. This historic and sweeping legislation provides additional relief to address the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, public health, State and local governments, individuals, and businesses.

The ARP allocates $3 billion to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist communities nationwide in advancing their coronavirus recovery and resiliency strategies.

EDA is up to the challenge and stands ready to deliver!

It was nearly a year ago, March 27, 2020, that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was implemented, and $1.5 billion in supplemental funding was provided to EDA to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

Today, EDA is pleased to note that it has awarded more than $1 billion in CARES Act grants.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to have met this important and significant milestone within one year of the enactment of the CARES Act,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Our CARES Act investments are supporting a variety of critical economic development strategies that are helping our communities recover and set a course for future prosperity. I am proud of the fortitude shown by our grantee partners in responding to this crisis and am inspired by the dedication that EDA’s incredible staff has shown in meeting the challenge of quickly getting this critical funding to them.”

With its CARES funding, EDA worked with speed and determination to support communities impacted by the virus, including through the rapid infusion of funding to existing partners --made up of Economic Development Districts, Revolving Loan Fund administrators, University Centers, and Indian Tribes --as well as competitive investments made to additional grantees across the country.

Under the CARES Act, EDA also launched a new $25 million Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge, to enable organizations to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation. SPRINT Challenge grantees are expected to be announced in the near future.

On March 3, EDA held an “Economic Recovery and Success” roundtable discussion featuring Mr. Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, who highlighted how additional federal funding is critical to advancing the nation’s full economic recovery.

The roundtable also featured five current grantees who are working with the assistance of EDA CARES Act funding to advance their local strategies, including: boosting innovation in the biosciences in the St. Louis region; expanding broadband access in Wisconsin; increasing workforce development opportunities for women and minorities in New Orleans; providing planning and capital assets to grow businesses in northeastern Mississippi; and developing the critical infrastructure to support healthcare needs in rural Missouri.

The projects being undertaken by these grantees serve as an example for other communities in need and offer best practices for them to emulate.

There is much work remaining to return our nation to prosperity following the economic injury wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. EDA will be there - ready and able - to assist our communities in need.

For more information on EDA, please visit us on the web at EDA.GOV. Information on EDA grants is also available via social media, on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.