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November 2019

Spotlight: Message from the Assistant Secretary

EDA Assistant Secretary Dr. Flemming
Hello Friends and Colleagues,

As the end of the year approaches, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the work EDA has accomplished over the past six months.

When I took office as Assistant Secretary in March, I was eager to start advancing President Donald J. Trump and Secretary Wilbur Ross’s economic agenda at the Department of Commerce. I am pleased to share that we have made great strides thus far.

In June, EDA added Opportunity Zones as a new Investment Priority. By implementing this policy change, we have increased the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to spur greater public investment in these areas.

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Success Story: EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program Helps Turn a Chocolatier’s Dream into Reality

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Chocolatier Romeo Garcia receiving check from Long Beach officials

EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with the gap financing they need to start or expand their businesses.

On October 12, Romeo Chocolates, LLC, celebrated the grand opening of its brick-and-mortar location in Long Beach, California. Founded in 2014, Romeo Chocolates is a micro-batch, artisanal confection line featuring world-sourced chocolate with local influences.

In 2017, using funds from an EDA-funded RLF, Long Beach provided a $50,000 loan to Romeo Chocolates to provide funds for furniture, equipment, and working capital needs to assist the company expand its operations by establishing a permanent retail location.

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Highlight: Assistant Secretary Fleming and Senator Capito Celebrate Veteran’s Day in West Virginia with EDA Announcement and Pinning Ceremony

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Assistant Secretary Fleming Announcing more than $7 million in grants toWest Virginia

On November 11, Assistant Secretary Fleming joined U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Representative Carol Miller to announce eight EDA grants totaling more than $7 million to the state of West Virginia to develop infrastructure needed for business growth and workforce training programs.

Assistant Secretary Fleming also delivered the keynote address at Charleston, West Virginia’s Veteran’s Day ceremony and assisted Senator Capito in presenting Welcome Home pins and proclamations to 19 Vietnam Veterans.

More than half of the projects announced in West Virginia are in or near Opportunity Zones, an initiative made possible through President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Opportunity Zones aim to spur growth in economically distressed areas by incentivizing private investment in communities that need it the most.

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Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley and Assistant Secretary Fleming Visit Hazelwood Green Development Site

Deputy Secretary Karen Dunn Kelley and Assistant Secretary Fleming visiting Hazelwood Green Development Site

On November 1, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley and Assistant Secretary Fleming spoke at the Opportunity Zones Association of America’s Pittsburgh Catalyst event (Dep. Sec. Kelley remarks) (Dr. Fleming remarks) and visited the Hazelwood Green development site to promote investments in Opportunity Zones, which are revitalizing communities in Pittsburgh and beyond.


Celebrating EDA Veterans with Spotlight on Commerce

Assistant Secretary Dennis Alvord speaks at 2019 UEDA Summit

The Commerce Department’s “Spotlight on Commerce” blog series has been highlighting Department veterans this month. Read Assistant Secretary Fleming, Craig Buerstatte and Jeffrey Burton's accounts of their experiences in the service and what being a veteran means to them.


Assistant Secretary Fleming Highlights ACE, CEDS, and other EDA Models for Development at the Organization of American States (OAS)

Participants at the Miami Opportunity Zone Summit

On November 14, Assistant Secretary Fleming addressed the meeting of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) at the Organization of American States (OAS). In his remarks, Dr. Fleming highlighted the Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE), the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) process, Opportunity Zones, and other EDA models for development.


EAUC/EDA University Center Bi-Monthly Webinar

The Educational Association of University Centers (EAUC) and EconomicEDA will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 3:00 pm EST, 12:00 pm PT. The webinar will provide an update on the EDA University Center program and the EAUC, and spotlight EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.


EDA in the News!

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Over seven million dollars in EDA grants coming to West Virginia
WOWK-TV 11/11/19

Parades in Charleston, Ripley among tributes to veterans on Veterans Day
WCHS8 11/12/19

Industrial training center announced in Weirton
The Weirton Daily News 11/12/19

Hazelwood Green held up as a success story by U.S. Commerce Dept. officials
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11/1/19

Making a More Democratic Economy, One Revolving Loan Fund at a Time
Next City 11/14/19

LiftFund celebrates with more Coastal Bend investments
KRIS Corpus Christi News 11/14/19

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