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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.8 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Michigan Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.8 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to 10 EDA Economic Development Districts (EDDs) across Michigan to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide Michigan with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Michigan’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are pleased to make these investments in Michigan’s EDA Economic Development Districts to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”

“By addressing manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism, this $400,000 grant targets the three pillars of opportunity across West Michigan for not only economic recovery but economic expansion,” said Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02). “This impactful federal grant will specifically help communities across Muskegon, Newaygo, Mason, Oceana and Lake County.”

“The CARES Act continues to deliver critical resources for communities in need across Michigan. I am pleased to see the Region 2 Planning Commission, which serves Hillsdale, Jackson, and Lenawee Counties, benefit from this federal legislation,” said Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07). “During these uncertain times, this funding will bolster economic recovery efforts in the 7th District and help more workers, farmers, and small businesses get back on their feet.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Central Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Regional Commission, Escanaba, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by working with county-based partners to develop a business and industry economic response plan; analyzing barriers to economic recovery; supporting the continued growth of technology and connectivity; providing technical assistance to local governments to plan and implement resiliency strategies; and coordinating the development of talent attraction and retention strategies.
  • Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission (EUP), Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing direct technical assistance with additional staffing and support to local economic development organizations. The support includes regional resilience planning, training, professional development, internships, capacity building, marketing strategies for the forest products industry, and utilization of a foreign trade zone. EUP will also coordinate and participate in the “Opened Safe U.P.” initiative, which aims to provide a regional certification program to businesses for reopening safely. In addition, EUP will look to implement technology enhancements to improve remote working capabilities that will assist the Region in its COVID-19 prevention, response, and resilience efforts.
  • East Michigan Council of Governments, Saginaw, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing an economic development recovery strategy for the 14-counties of East Central Michigan during the next 24 months. This recovery strategy will be an addendum to the region's updated five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
  • Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, Gaylord, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by coordinating the economic recovery response with local partners to ensure the region can urgently respond to the needs of businesses, jobseekers, and local communities.
  • Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Traverse City, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by creating local economic recovery response efforts for key industry sectors in Northwest Michigan, including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. Activities will also include a strategy for moving through recovery and back to sustainability and growth.
  • Southwestern Michigan Commission, Benton Harbor, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by helping to drive the coordination of recovery efforts to align assets and catalyze a resilient, mobile, digitally-connected, farm-to-table southwest Michigan.
  • Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region Commission, Hancock, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by engaging a diverse group of stakeholder to assess regional priorities and develop projects to address them.
  • West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, Muskegon, Michigan, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing strategies that will strengthen the resiliency and future growth of the region’s manufacturing, agricultural, and tourism sectors.
  • Region 2 Planning Commission, Jackson, Michigan, will receive a $351,183 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring a disaster recovery coordinator; launching an interactive website with resources for small businesses and institutions; promoting value-added processing of local agricultural goods as part of effort to diversify the regional economy; and joining other Michigan EDDs to conduct statewide planning and research regarding broadband inadequacies and consistent economic modeling.
  • West Michigan Regional Planning Commission (WMRPC), Grand Rapids, Michigan, will receive a $250,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing communities with a range of opportunities to engage with each other, the WMRPC, the state of Michigan, and EDA to help identify and address pandemic issues unique to their region.

These entities, all EDA-designated Economic Development Districts, are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA EDD, University Center, Tribal, and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

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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