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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Support Entrepreneurial Development in Utah

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $718,968 grant to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, to help develop a new training program for the Ogden-Clearfield Launchpad entrepreneurship center (Center). The Center provides critical resources for early-stage entrepreneurs as they move through the startup life cycle. The EDA grant project, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $720,702 in local funds and is expected to help create more than 60 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment.

“Weber State’s Ogden-Clearfield Launchpad will partner with existing advanced manufacturing industries through this new program to provide mentoring, training, and product development resources that early stage entrepreneurs need to grow and become successful,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “The nearby Opportunity Zone will further incentivize businesses to invest in the area and help reinvigorate the local economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Wasatch Front Economic Development District (WFEDD). EDA funds WFEDD 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.

The funding announced today can help catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones can spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

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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