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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $8.8 Million in CARES Act Funding to Capitalize Revolving Loan Funds to Help Small Businesses Across Alabama Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $8.8 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Alabama.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These investments will provide small businesses across Alabama with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Alabama’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. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and EDA is pleased to invest these CARES Act funds so that Alabama businesses have access to capital to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Alabama’s small businesses are the backbone of our state, and there is no doubt that the ongoing health crisis has taken a toll on these businesses and their employees,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “It is critical that we support our small businesses and entrepreneurs, and I am proud to see the Trump Administration continuously working to do just that. I am confident that when we support our small businesses, we our supporting a strong, roaring comeback.”

“It is imperative that we work to combat the negative effects COVID-19 has had on Alabama’s businesses and their employees,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “I am grateful EDA has granted this funding to Alabama through the CARES Act, and I am confident these dollars will help small businesses grow and create jobs throughout the state.”

“Thank you to President Trump and Secretary Ross for continuing to focus on our country’s economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03). “These CARES Act funds will help the businesses in Lee County at a time when they need it most. Investments in Alabama’s Third Congressional District are crucial to keep our economy strong.”

“As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, I applaud President Trump and Secretary Ross for making sure these funds, appropriated by Congress, get to the communities that need them,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04). “Our nation’s small businesses are the engine that drives the American economy, and ensuring they have the resources to succeed as we continue to navigate this pandemic is vital. I am glad that these revolving loan funds from EDA will be available to invest in Alabama businesses and help fuel our recovery.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, Camden, Alabama, will receive a $3 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide coronavirus impacted businesses in Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Sumter, Washington, and Wilcox counties with loans to help them respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Council, Dothan, Alabama will receive a $1.8 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide coronavirus impacted businesses in Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, and Wayne counties with loans to help them respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Jefferson County, Alabama, will receive a $1.2 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus impacted small businesses in Jefferson County.
  • Northwest Alabama Council of Governments, Muscle Shoals, Alabama will receive a $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to provide gap financing to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by capitalizing and administering an RLF to provide loans to businesses in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Marion, and Winston counties.
  • Lee-Russell Council of Governments, Opelika, Alabama, will receive a $902,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus impacted businesses in Lee and Russell counties.
  • North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments, Decatur, Alabama, will receive a $770,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide coronavirus impacted businesses in Cullman, Lawrence, and Morgan counties with loans to help them respond to the pandemic.

These current EDA RLF grantees are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal 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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