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Year in Review: EDA’s Five Most Popular Stories of 2017

The following press releases, newsletter features and success stories generated the most attention on EDA’s website in 2017 and encompass our mission to create conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all Americans.

#1 – U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $17 Million to Accelerate Entrepreneurship Across the Nation to Move Ideas to Market, Create Jobs, and Promote American Innovation

Sept. 20, 2017 (press release) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that 42 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states will receive over $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.

#2 – U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $30 Million to Assist America’s Coal Communities

October 11, 2017 (press release) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $30 million to support 35 projects in 16 states under the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative. The funding will assist locally-driven efforts to communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.

#3 – Spotlight: EDA’S Revolving Loan Program: Supporting Small Businesses

March 2017 (Innovate@EDA newsletter) – There are 520 EDA-funded Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) operating nationwide with a total of $267 million available for lending at below-market interest rates to small businesses that are unable to borrow from commercial banks. These RLFs have made more than 37,500 loans to American small businesses and have leveraged more than $16 billion non-RLF dollars. RLF recipients report that the program has contributed to creating or retaining more than 662,000 jobs.

#4 – Spotlight: EDA’S University Center Economic Development Program: Higher Education Resources and Expertise Supporting Local Plans To Grow Businesses

May 2017 (Innovate@EDA newsletter) – The EDA-supported University Center (UC) program is specifically designed to marshal the resources located within colleges and universities to support businesses and regional economic development strategies in regions of chronic and acute economic distress. The UCs, which EDA considers long-term partners in economic development, are required to devote the majority of their funding to respond to technical assistance requests originating from organizations located in the economically distressed portions of their service regions. Currently, EDA boasts a total of 58 UC’s across the nation.

#5 – Santa Fe Business Incubator: Economic Driver, Business Creation Center, and Innovation Hub

March 2017 (Success Story) – In summer of 2011, EDA invested $1.25 million in the Santa Fe Business Incubator to build a new wet lab and make infrastructure improvements to the facility to continue its support of new bio-science tech companies in the area. To date, the Santa Fe Business Incubator has helped launch over 150 startup companies that have created over 1,000 direct jobs.

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