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Success Stories

EDA investments catalyze strategic, regionally-focused plans to build strong economic ecosystems that will support entrepreneurship and business growth, enhance and grow their existing economic assets, and create well-paying jobs in growing sectors. By investing in bottom-up regional economic development EDA helped communities devise new, well-thought-out, sustainable strategies based on their unique assets.

EDA’s economic footprint is wide and its tool box is extensive—including technical assistance, post-disaster recovery assistance, trade adjustment support, strategic planning and research and evaluation capacity, thereby allowing the agency to offer the most effective investment to help communities succeed in the global economy.

We are proud of our grantees’ accomplishments and encourage you to submit your success stories:

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Read some Success Stories from our Annual Reports.

Archives: Disaster | Economic Development Districts | Economic Development Integration | Infrastructure | Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Manufacturing | Small Business Development/RLF | Workforce Development

Small Business/RLF

EDA-Capitalized Revolving Loan Fund Helps a Small Business Ascend to Success

When psychologist Haleigh Scott completed her postdoctoral clinical training at the University of California, Davis she knew she could best continue her commitment to individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in a small setting that would allow personalized patient treatment and case management. However, the start-up costs needed to establish a private practice were prohibitive and, like many new entrepreneurs, Dr. Scott found it difficult to obtain traditional bank financing. That’s when she contacted Judy Fletcher, Chief Lending Officer at California Capital Financial Development Corporation (“California Capital”).

November 29, 2022

Dr. Haleigh Scott is the owner of Ascend Diagnostics and Support Services.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

EDA Investments Boost Bioscience and Technology at KU Innovation Park

Lawrence, Kansas, is already our planet’s default center on Google Earth. Now with EDA support, it will also serve as the center of bioscience and technology in the state.

November 8, 2022

Creative Startups logo

Disaster

Paradise, California Leverages $1.8 Million EDA Grant to Secure $200 Million Investment

California has experienced its share of wildfires. Nothing, however, could prepare the Golden State for the devastation of the 2018 Camp Fire. The historic and unprecedented conflagration laid waste to a large section of mountainous and semi-rural Butte County, going down as the single most devastating fire disaster in state history.

November 1, 2022

The Camp Fire — pictured on November 8, 2018 — devastated much of Butte County, California.

Small Business/RLF

Revolving Loan Fund Program Gives Businesses a Flying Start in Tennessee

Mike Williamson is a former Air Force mechanic from Lynchburg, Tennessee. After serving his country, he returned to his hometown and opened Lynchburg Machine Tool, which provides tools and dies for the local automotive manufacturing industry.

As his business took off, Mike was often traveling to meet with new customers.

October 31, 2022

These photos by Mike Williamson show the hangar both prior to this project and after the restoration was completed.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

New Mexico Program Improves Access to Entrepreneurial Resources

For entrepreneurs, finding support for their potential business can be a challenge, especially for women, minorities, and those in rural communities. Fueled by a $250,000 Economic Adjustment Assistance (PDF) investment from EDA, a program in New Mexico was focused on improving access to entrepreneurial support by tapping into existing community resources.

October 25, 2022

Creative Startups logo

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Colorado Entrepreneurs Gain Holistic Business Support

Starting a small business can be a struggle, and for many entrepreneurs, knowing where to start can either make or break their potential business. Luckily, small businesses in Colorado Springs, Colorado can turn to an entrepreneurial support program, which will meet owners where they are and offer assistance every step of the way.

October 18, 2022

The Lab@AgStart includes a state-of-the-art wet lab.

Small Business/RLF

EDA Supports Equitable Lending Leaders

>While the accessibility of credit is vital to the success and growth of small business, research shows that lending to borrowers from marginalized communities continues to lag.1  In 2020, the CARES Act catalyzed a major expansion of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) successful Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) program. RLFs provide small businesses access to capital in the form of gap financing to grow and generate new employment opportunities with competitive wages and benefits.  Prior to the onset of the pandemic, EDA’s RLF portfolio boasted a combined capital base of nearly $900 million; CARES Act recovery assistance helped grow the portfolio to more than $1.5 billion.

October 6, 2022

Debra Davis (left), pictured here with an EDCKC RLF borrower, participated in the Equitable Lending Leaders program.

Small Business/RLF

Regional Planning Council Helps Small Businesses Stay Afloat in South Florida

Over the last few years, many Americans have moved to Florida, making it one of the top destinations for domestic migration. In 2021 alone, more than 220,000 people moved to the Sunshine State.

Coupled with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, this mass migration put a serious strain on the state’s resources, minimizing its lending power to small, minority-owned businesses and other entrepreneurs.

September 1, 2022

Dr. Rashida Francois purchased Tewelde’s Lafitte Drugs through a loan through EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund program.

Infrastructure

EDA Investment Helps Preserve Newport, Oregon's Role in the Pacific Fishery

With a population of just 11,000, the coastal community of Newport, Oregon has managed to establish itself as home to one of the richest seafaring traditions on the West Coast. It's a destination spot for visitors from throughout the United States who come to see the town's working waterfronts and maritime-based attractions, such as the Oregon Coast History Museum, historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, and notable restaurants and fish markets.

August 22, 2022

Port of Newport Commission President Jim Burke cuts the ribbon to the newly rebuilt Port Dock 5 Pier.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

AgStart Building Future of Food in Northern California

Agriculture in California is more than just vineyards and avocado groves. According to data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, farmers in the Golden State produce more than one-third of the United States’ vegetables, two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, and manage more dairy cows than any other place in the United States. In fact California is the largest food-producing state in the country, and a critical lynchpin in the nation’s agricultural ecosystem. It is also globally competitive, producing 80 percent of the world’s almonds and one-third of the world’s processed tomatoes, while remaining a significant exporter of citrus, sushi rice, and other crops. But issues of workforce, water, and land availability are coalescing to challenge the future of food in California.

July 28, 2022

The Lab@AgStart includes a state-of-the-art wet lab.

Economic Development Districts

Maryland EDD Helps Eastern Shore Businesses Navigate the Pandemic

With just two employees, the Mid-Shore Regional Council (MSRC) may be among the smallest of EDA’s economic development districts. But by leveraging the strength of its regional partners, the MSRC makes an enormous impact on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

July 12, 2022

The Eastern Shore Economic Recovery Project Team receives the 2022 Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Award. Pictured are John Wasilisin, Danny Thompson, Scott Warner, Greg Padgham, Erin Silva, Dan McDermott, Susan Banks, Debbie Bowden, Cassandra Vanhooser and Gordon Knox. Photo by Rick Lippenholz.

Economic Development Districts

Puerto Rico Welcomes First EDD

Economic Development Districts (EDD) play a vital role in the EDA grant application process. Comprised of multiple jurisdictions that often cross state lines, EDDs leverage the involvement of the public, private, and non-profit sectors to establish a strategic blueprint for economic development.

June 30, 2022

Hospital Episcopal San Lucas, one of six hospitals serving the southern region of Puerto Rico.

Infrastructure

EDA Investment Spurs New Development

Helen Hayes once said that age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese. For the city of Willows, California, that adage also applies to cheese factories. In the mid-2010s, the town’s 100-year-old, family-owned cheese producer was on the cusp of relocating its operations to a new facility in a different area, a move necessitated by its increasingly antiquated factory.

June 28, 2022

EDA worked with Willows, California, to turn unused land into a modern industrial park, securing an anchor employer for the Central California city

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

At the University of Oregon, the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement is Bridging the Divide Between Academia and Practice

Whether it’s developing a business incubator, building new broadband infrastructure, or expanding a wastewater management system, economic development is often a heavy-lifting activity. Sometimes, though, no challenge is as great as bridging the divide between academia and practice.

June 1, 2022

The University of Oregon’s Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) fellows undergo training prior to deployment. RARE fellows expand the geographic reach of the university’s economic development expertise well beyond UO’s Eugene campus.

Small Business/RLF

EDA-Funded RLF Program Helps Keep Pharmacy Open in Small Town in Louisiana

Tewelde’s Lafitte Drugs has operated inside a grocery store in Lafitte, Louisiana, for more than 40 years. It has long served an important role in the rural community of 2,500 people.

May 24, 2022

Dr. Rashida Francois purchased Tewelde’s Lafitte Drugs through a loan through EDA’s Revolving Loan Fund program.

Workforce Development

North Charleston’s Opportunity Center Helps Empower Entrepreneurs and Build Generational Wealth in Low-Income Communities

In January 2022, The Opportunity Center opened for business in North Charleston, South Carolina, designed to create economic development opportunities for low-income communities. This innovative space provides workforce development, small business incubators, and coworking spaces benefiting entrepreneurs and start-ups, while maintaining offices of local non-profits actively working in the community and economic development sector.

May 10, 2022

Leaders from the four partners in The Opportunity Center,  pictured left to right: Bernie Mazyck, SCACED; Dr. Jennie Stephens, Center for  Heirs Property Preservation; Jerome Heyward, Mayor Pro Tempore of North  Charleston; Dorothea Bernique, Increasing HOPE; and Don Oglesby, Homes of Hope,  gather to cut the ceremonious ribbon, marking the official opening of the new  building.

Workforce Development

Specialized Health Sciences Equipment has Unanticipated Benefits for College

Several years ago, Bismarck State College (BSC) was at a crossroads with its health sciences programs. BSC offered Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, Medical Lab Technician and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs as well as the only Surgical Technology program in the state.

May 6, 2022

The Bismarck State College Health Sciences program offers real-world training to students

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

EDA Grant Helps Power World’s First Carbon Fiber Remanufacturing Facility

In 1965, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) was established and the sport of pickleball invented. Created by former U.S. Representative Joel Pritchard (WA-02) at his Bainbridge Island, Washington cabin, pickleball has since been named the state sport of Washington. Recently, it has seen a surge in popularity, becoming the fastest-growing athletic pastime in the United States.

May 3, 2022

Spokane, Washington is the economic hub of the inland Pacific Northwest.

Infrastructure

EDA Helps Bring Jobs and Water to Northern Pennsylvania

Towanda is a small community in northern Pennsylvania, just a short drive from New York. It was founded in 1786 along the Susquehanna River, and by the 1800s, it was a thriving port for merchants. It was incorporated as a township in 1826 and is now home to more than 3,000 residents.

April 19, 2022

Towanda Municipal Authority Water Treatment Facility

Small Business/RLF

Pumps and Ladders: Francis Enos is Protecting the Protectors of California’s North Coast

Fire protection in California’s rural and heavily forested Humboldt County is provided by a patchwork of more than three dozen different agencies, many of whom rely entirely on volunteer firefighters. Maintaining the pumps and ladders on hundreds of pieces of firefighting apparatus along California’s North Coast is a job that’s almost as big as the giant Redwoods for which Humboldt County is known. It’s a job that falls, in part, to Ferndale, California’s Francis Enos Fire Pump Repair.

April 12, 2022

Pumps on the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department’s engines in Ferndale, California, are tested by Francis Enos Fire Pump Repair.

Small Business/RLF

Colorado Business on the Brink of Exponential Growth

BAR U EAT started, quite literally, in a home kitchen. Unsatisfied with the granola and protein bar options in local stores in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Sam Nelson decided to make his own.

He began making snack bars for family and friends and eventually they convinced him to sell the products. He teamed up with his life-long friend, Jason Friday, and BAR U EAT was created.

March 29, 2022

Photo of Gloria Pugh

Infrastructure

The National World War II Museum Uses Unique Ways to Teach History

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, isn’t your traditional museum. Leaders pride themselves in using unique, innovative methods to share history with visitors.

March 24, 2022

The interior of Building 104 at San Francisco’s Pier 70 is pictured before (left) and after (right) redevelopment

Small Business/RLF

EDA Support Helps Florida Relocation Company Move in a New Direction

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 220,000 Americans moved to Florida in 2021, making it the nation’s top destination for domestic migration. With support from the Economic Development Administration, a Florida-based company is helping many Americans move to the Sunshine State.

March 15, 2022

Photo of Gloria Pugh

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

With EDA Support, Washington State University is Helping Inventors and Entrepreneurs Succeed in Eastern Washington

Over the last decade, Spokane, Washington has experienced a boom in growth. Much of the Lilac City’s recent economic success can be organically attributed to an innovative business landscape driven by a local sense of creativity and industry — the city’s motto, in fact, is “Creative by Nature.”

March 9, 2022

Spokane, Washington is the economic hub of the inland Pacific Northwest.

Disaster

2 EDA Grants to Savanna, Illinois, Spur Manufacturing Investment and Job Creation

About 10 years ago, the city of Savanna, Illinois, faced two economic development hurdles.

The first was a three-quarter-mile, pot-holed-filled street, called Wacker Road, that rumbled as trucks passed a school and homes to get to industrial businesses.

March 1, 2022

Brayton Point Power Station (Somerset, Massachusetts)

Economic Development Districts

After Two Power Plant Closures, Former Coal Community Gets its Second Wind

The town of Somerset is a small, waterfront community in southeastern Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1790 but has a rich heritage dating back to the founding of America.

February 15, 2022

Brayton Point Power Station (Somerset, Massachusetts)
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