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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million to Help Make Infrastructure Improvements to Support Business Growth in Arkansas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $1.5 million in grants to the State of Arkansas to help provide the critical infrastructure needed to support business expansion and growth.

“The Trump Administration is laying the foundation for solid, long-term economic growth in communities across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These improvements will provide local businesses in Arkansas with the infrastructure they need to grow and succeed in the global economy.”

“The path to a booming state economy is paved with the projects such as the leaders in North Little Rock and Cleveland County envision and execute,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “These federal grants, which are returning Arkansas money to the state, will boost the economies in North Little Rock and Cleveland County, and further enhance the economic development and job growth we’ve enjoyed over the past four years in Arkansas.”

“These investments in Arkansas communities will promote economic development and create more opportunities for growth,” said Senator John Boozman. “By improving our infrastructure we can make long-term improvements to better position our businesses in the future.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • The City of North Little Rock will receive $869,964 to support the 6th street expansion project. The project will improve access to a variety of businesses and attractions, including the new First Orion Corporation Headquarters, retail stores, restaurants, and cultural centers. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 182 jobs, retain 118 jobs, and spur nearly $12 million in private investment.
  • Cleveland County will receive $660,000 to make infrastructure improvements to the local water system, supporting the relocation and expansion of a local lumber company and a farm, both of which are major employers in the region. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain over 30 jobs, while generating over $5 million in private investment.

These projects were made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (CAPDD) and the South East Arkansas Economic Development District (SEAEDD). EDA funds CAPDD and SEAEDD 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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