CDFI Fund: $650,000 in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Implement a Technical Assistance Program Near Fayetteville, AR Opportunity Zone

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $650,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Community Venture Foundation, Fayetteville, Arkansas, to provide technical assistance to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Arkansas. The EDA grant project, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $192,000 in local funds.

“EDA is proud to support this locally-driven strategy to address the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Northwest Arkansas business community and to boost resiliency,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will provide consulting services to and connect entrepreneurs with experts to ensure that the region’s robust culture of entrepreneurship remains competitive. The nearby Opportunity Zone will further incentivize businesses to invest in the region to reinvigorate the local economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD), which EDA funds 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 will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development 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 Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

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.

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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