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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million to Support Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses in Gulfport, Mississippi

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District of Gulfport, Mississippi, to recapitalize an existing Revolving Loan Fund in support of small businesses and entrepreneurs. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 168 jobs, retain 59 jobs and spur $4.8 million in private investment.

“The Department of Commerce and its bureaus have been working diligently to aid communities across the country which have been devastated by natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This Revolving Loan Fund will provide critical support to businesses throughout Mississippi, empowering local entrepreneurs all over the state.”

“Mississippi’s economy is on a good track, and South Mississippi continues to overcome hardships to contribute to our growing economy,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “These revolving loan funds will support job creation and retention, which will equate to more opportunities for workers and families. I’m pleased the SMPDD will have this capital to continue its economic development work in the 15 counties it serves.”

“This economic development grant is welcome news for the small businesses of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as they continue to recover from hurricanes,” said Senator Roger Wicker. “I commend the work of the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to support public and private investment that will create jobs and spur growth in our communities.”

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

This investment recapitalized a Revolving Loan Fund to help small business repair, replace, and rebuild after Hurricane Nate affected countless communities in October 2017. It will also support the establishment or expansion of new businesses that meet the demand for products and services which aid disaster recovery efforts. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District. EDA funds the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District 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.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
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.

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