Press Release
January 17, 2023

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $794,472 to Boost Business Growth in Coal-Impacted and Other Underserved Communities in Georgia

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $794,472 grant to the Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation, Inc., Statesboro, Georgia, to connect businesses in underserved areas of Georgia with the technical assistance they need to grow and thrive.

This project will allow Georgia Southern University’s Georgia Enterprise Network for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to install standardized, interactive conference and virtual receptionist equipment at 27 locations in Georgia to connect these communities with existing entrepreneur and business support programs and related partners. The EDA investment will be matched with $198,618 in local funds.

“Georgia Southern University plays an important role in delivering vital technical assistance to communities and businesses in Georgia as an EDA University Center grantee,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This program will expand the capacity of the University to connect businesses and entrepreneurs in rural and underserved communities with university programs and other economic development authorities to support business growth in a region impacted by the declining use of coal.”

“I am laser-focused on creating jobs, supporting local businesses and securing federal resources for our state that keep our economy moving forward, so I’m thrilled to see these investments flow to Georgia Southern University’s Research and Service Foundation,” said Senator Raphael Warnock. “I’ll keep working to strengthen these and other critical investments in Georgia’s small business sector to help keep our economy strong.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia (CRC). EDA funds CRC 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 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities. 

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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


  • Assistance to Coal Communities