Press Release
May 20, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $620,000 for Infrastructure Improvements to Spur Business Growth in Santa Cruz, California

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $620,000 grant to the city of Santa Cruz, California, to make critical infrastructure improvements needed to expand usable business space in the city. This EDA grant, to be matched with $155,000 in local investment, is expected to create 75 jobs and generate $6 million in private investment.

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities implement their plans to provide the vital infrastructure that businesses need to be successful,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will strengthen the Santa Cruz Wharf to allow a new two-story retail structure to be constructed on the site of a recently demolished, single-story building.”

“The investment announced today will help revitalize the over-a-century-old Santa Cruz Wharf with infrastructure improvements that open the door to new businesses, jobs and investment,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “As the state looks ahead to fully reopening, we are grateful for this boost to ensure that Santa Cruz’s iconic attractions continue to draw visitors from far and near.”

“Federal funding that supports local projects to rebuild our infrastructure is the kind of smart investment we need to build stronger communities,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “From spurring local economic development to creating new jobs, this grant will give local businesses in Santa Cruz the resources they need to develop modern retail space to expand and flourish as we recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“As we emerge from this pandemic, we must make immediate investments in local infrastructure to spur job creation and help local businesses thrive,” said Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20). “These federal funds will not just revitalize a Central Coast community symbol, but it will spark economic growth and create jobs at the Santa Cruz Wharf. I will keep fighting to increase Economic Development Administration grant funding to ensure communities like ours can continue to receive the federal support they need to succeed.”

This project will fund the replacement of approximately 50 aging pilings, refurbish damaged decking, reinforce the structural substrate, and repair walkways and parking adjacent to the Santa Cruz Wharf.

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.