U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.2 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost
Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Louisiana Respond to Coronavirus
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.2 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to eight EDA Economic Development District organizations across Louisiana 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 Louisiana with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”
“These investments come at a crucial time to help Louisiana’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 Louisiana’s EDA Economic Development Districts to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”
“We’re grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce for providing these funds to Louisiana at a critical time in our COVID-19 response,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Our planning and development districts will capitalize on these resources to stimulate recovery and employment in the tourism, oil and gas, retail, restaurant, seafood, agriculture, transportation and other sectors. By focusing on strategies to reskill our workers, expand our broadband capacity and make our communities more competitive, we can advance the work of making Louisiana more resilient.”
“Louisiana’s economy didn’t sputter on its own—government shut it down, and now it’s time to help it reopen,” said Senator John Kennedy. “Louisianians are some of the most resilient people on earth, and it’s good to see the Commerce Department recognize that by helping workers and job creators in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport.”
“I applaud the Trump Administration for their continued investment in Southeast Louisiana, including these Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds to boost our economic response to the Coronavirus,” said Congressman Steve Scalise (LA-01). “These investments are critical for strengthening our workforce, creating opportunity, and supporting our recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.”
“Rebuilding our economy and getting Americans back to work are top priorities for my office,” said Congressman Clay Higgins (LA-03). “These investments support our recovery efforts and help ensure Louisiana’s long-term economic health. We will continue working closely with President Trump’s administration and our state partners to deliver the necessary resources.”
The EDA investments announced today are:
- Acadiana Planning Commission, Lafayette, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to business and community partners to support long-term recovery strategies.
- Coordinating & Development Corporation, Shreveport, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that local business and community partners have the resources to respond to local needs and prepare for future economic disruptions.
- Capital Region Planning Commission, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to prepare a regional broadband plan to guide unserved and underserved communities to achieve readiness for expanded and improved service.
- Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission, Lake Charles, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by enhancing electronic communication with local governments and business entities; hiring additional employees; and re-evaluating and re-prioritizing the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to effectively respond to pandemic adjustments in the oil and gas, seafood, timber, agriculture, tourism, and air and water freight transport industries.
- Kisatchie-Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Alexandria, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by implementing economic development strategies to bolster the region’s businesses and industries.
- North Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Monroe, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by serving as a liaison for local, state, and federal partners in identifying economic development projects that will help speed the recovery process.
- New Orleans Regional Planning Commission, New Orleans, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing emergency response, recovery, and resilience resources; assisting local governments with defining their labor outlook; identifying new economic opportunities; and providing technical assistance to eligible entities across the New Orleans region.
- South Central Planning and Development Commission, Houma, Louisiana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by working to create a more diverse and sustainable economy through strategic planning and implementation efforts, including those that support a more competitive and resilient workforce.
These entities, all EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDD), 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 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.
The Delta I-Fund is seeking entrepreneurs to participate in a 12-week virtual course that will help launch start-up companies in our region. The I-Fund will match entrepreneurs with a mentor, and the organization will provide funding for your team’s proof of concept. The cohort begins March 9 and you can sign up now to participate in the program, which is modeled after the National Science Foundation’s successful I-Corp program.
The I-Fund program will teach participating entrepreneurs about Lean Start-up methodology, including how to document a business model and how to improve your business by seeking customer input. DRA supports the I-Fund mission of improving low-to-moderate income communities throughout our eight-state region. The program seeks to provide a platform for the creation and launch of high-growth companies, spurring economic development and job creation in the region. For more information, visit https://www.deltaifund.com/.
APPLY TODAY through DRA.
SCPDC Contact Person: Stephanie Brüning
The Terrebonne Port Commission officially opened the Rome Woodward Street improvements with Parish President Gordy Dove, Councilman Al Marmande and Executive Director David Rabelais. The project is located on Main Port Court off of Industrial Boulevard.
Port Commission members, Parish Council, representatives from T. Baker Smith (Engineering) and South Central Planning and Development Commission (Grant Administration) were present for the official dedication. The $425,706.00 project was a funding partnership between U.S Economic Development Agency (EDA) and the Port with $312,320 from EDA and $113,386.00 in port funds.
The 800-foot infrastructure project, completed by Byron E. Talbot Contractor, Inc., included a 10-inch 24-foot-wide industrial class concrete pavement with 10-foot-wide aggregate shoulders and the addition of associated drainage pipe and catch basins. The extension finished the work started in January 2014 and provides improved access to the Port property allowing for an additional 52 acres of the property to be developed with Port related tenants.
Aligning with many of EDA’s funding priorities, the Rome Woodward Street extension embodies public/private partnerships, national strategic priorities and global competitiveness. Terrebonne Port Commission’s 680-acre site located near LA Highway 57, the Houma-Terrebonne Airport, the Houma Navigation Canal and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway puts it in a strategic position for future economic growth and benefits to the region. For more information about the Terrebonne Port Commission please go to www.terrebonneport.com.
From Left to Right: Stephanie Brüning (SCPDC); Philip Chauvin (T.B. Smith); Amber Plessala (T. B. Smith), David Rabalais (Port Executive Director), Al Marmande (Parish Councilman), Eddie Rome (Port Commissioner), Andrew Blanchard (Port Commissioner), Dan Davis (Port Commissioner), Gordy Dove (Parish President), Pat Gordon (SCPDC)
SCPDC Awarded an LED Workforce Development Grant in Partnership with St. James Works to support “St. James Parish Construction Academy”
South Central Planning and Development Commission in partnership with St. James Works received a grant funded under LED Workforce Development/Capacity Building Grant Program. This pilot program–the St. James Parish Construction Academy will allow local veterans, unemployed, and other under-employed residents the opportunity to:
1. Access remedial education including receipt of HiSET certification and then proceed through the ACT WorkKeys Curriculum consisting of computer-based learning and testing,
2. Achieve the National Career Ready Certificate (NCRC),
3. Receive construction-specific training with the assistance of the Associated Builders and Contractors’ regional chapter, and
4. Achieve nationally-accepted certification through completion of the Core and Level I curriculum of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (see nccer.org).
Find out more about St. James Work Ready Community Initiative www.workreadycommunities.org
FACEBOOK: SJP Work Ready
$17 Million Available to Spur Regional Innovation
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its 2017 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) program. The application period will close June 23, 2017.
The $17 million being made available through the RIS NOFA will help to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Under this competition, EDA is seeking applications for two separate funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.
- i6 Challenge ($13M): Across the country, regions and communities are helping entrepreneurs overcome challenging barriers to help build new companies and create jobs through the efforts of universities, National Labs, state and local governments, incubators, and various other organizations. The i6 Challenge helps drive these efforts by supporting the creation and expansion of programs that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and, ultimately, jobs.
- Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition ($4M): The availability of funding for early-stage companies is an essential element of a healthy innovation-based regional ecosystem. Taking an idea or innovation from conception to market often requires capital, but in many regions across the country, innovators and entrepreneurs struggle to find that capital. SFS grants provide funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the Notice of Funding Availability on grants.gov for more details on both the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support grants, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, application and submission deadlines, and other information. Funding for both programs is available to all communities regardless of level of distress.
EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.
In collaboration with SSTI, OIE will present an informational webinar on May 22, 2017, at 3:00pm ET. Register now!