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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.1 Million to Support Disaster Recovery Efforts in Houston, Texas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million grant to TruFund Financial Services, Inc. to develop a technical assistance program that will support entrepreneurial business development opportunities for small and minority-women owned business operating in Hurricane Harvey-impacted Houston, Texas, region.

“President Trump champions the small businesses and entrepreneurs who help drive our country’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The TruFund Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency Initiative will help local businesses recover, reopen and grow in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.”

“Texans are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, and many of those affected are small business owners,” said Senator Cornyn. “I'm pleased that the Trump Administration has chosen to help local businesses and entrepreneurs and put the region further down the road to economic recovery.”

“I saw firsthand the resilience and strength of our community after Hurricane Harvey destroyed the place we call home,” said Congressman Daniel Crenshaw. “I know this will make a difference in our community as we continue on this long road to recovery.”

“Hurricane Harvey was one of the most devastating storms in history, and the entire Houston community felt the impact,” said Congressman Kevin Brady. “Rebuilding is tough – and we can’t do it alone. This investment will enhance the economic development of local businesses, provide crucial professional training and services, and help our communities rebuild and recover.”

“As our community works to rebuild a more resilient infrastructure after Hurricane Harvey, we are keenly aware of the need to help small businesses become more resilient in the future,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “We are excited about the opportunities the TruFund technical assistance program will bring to business owners in our area.”

“After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, I called for a coordinated local, state, and federal response to help all families and businesses affected by the storm,” said Congressman Mike McCaul. “Part of this response was ensuring our local business owners recover, rebuild, and once again thrive. The TruFund Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency Initiative will give a needed boost to our small business owners as they continue to rebuild and support the local Houston economy.”

“Small businesses are the backbones of our economy,” said Congressman Randy Weber. “Our region took a hard hit with Hurricane Harvey, but I am confident we will come back stronger than before. Thanks to everything the President and his Administration provided, we will get back on our feet. The TruFund Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency Initiative will go a long way toward helping restart the economic engine of our region.”

“Today’s grant speaks to two issues of vital importance to my congressional district,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “The need to support small businesses is always paramount, for they are major economic engines of our economy. Yet, the need to do so is all the more urgent following Hurricane Harvey, which wrought unimaginable damage on my district, greater Houston, Harris County and broad swaths of Texas. Additionally, it is always the right time to support women and minority-owned businesses and to expand economic prosperity to diverse segments of the population. I commend the Commerce Department for this grant and will continue to advocate for proposals that expedite the Hurricane Harvey recovery and increase economic opportunity.”

“Hurricane Harvey devastated our region and we are still recovering,” said Congressman Pete Olson. “Our small businesses were hit very hard and took big losses during the initial aftermath. Those kind of losses are hard to calculate and can take years to recover from. While we’ve come a long way in the past year and a half, the recovery process is far from over. I’m pleased that EDA is providing critical assistance to help our small and minority-women owned businesses get back on their feet.”

“I am pleased to announce that additional funds are coming to the Ninth Congressional District of Texas and surrounding areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey to assist local businesses,” said Congressman Al Green (TX-09). “It is my hope that the funding that my colleagues and I in Congress have provided to the Economic Development Administration, which was granted to the TruFund Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency Initiative, will equip businesses and the communities they serve across the Greater Houston area with the necessary resources to successfully prepare for and recover from future disasters. While I am eager about this step toward commercial recovery from the storm, I hope this is but an indication of full recovery – including infrastructure and home repair – for the city I am proud to call home.”

“As a small business owner of nearly forty years, and the Member of Congress who represents nine Southeast Texas Counties ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, I am happy to learn that the EDA is awarding a $1.1 million grant for small and minority-women owned business,” said Congressman Brian Babin. “This grant will be crucial in helping these businesses rebuild and recover and allow them to once again give back to their community.”

Resources that will be provided through this technical assistance program will include group training sessions, professional consultant services and access to capital, ecosystem engagement, and disaster recovery and resiliency planning. Through TruFund’s Disaster Recovery and Business Resiliency Initiative, businesses will become more adept at handling disasters and other market fluctuations to foster creative and fruitful environments.

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.

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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