Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.15 million grant to the County of Hot Spring, Arkansas, to help improve an existing industrial park. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $770,000 in local funds, and is expected to create more than 130 jobs and spur more than $15 million in private investment.
“President Trump is working to improve our country’s infrastructure to facilitate job creation and economic success,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The water, wastewater, drainage, and roadway improvements supported by this investment will bring new private investment to the county. The Opportunity Zone designation will further incentivize business investment in the area and local economy.”
“With the improvements that will come with this grant, the Hot Spring County Industrial Park is moving a step closer to reaching its full potential as a zone of opportunity for businesses and job creation” said Governor Hutchinson. “This is a great investment in the Malvern/Rockport area.”
“Ensuring communities have the necessary infrastructure in place to generate and sustain economic growth must be a priority,” said Senator Boozman. “Revitalization of this existing industrial park will generate and sustain economic growth. This project will help spur interest and investment for the region, creating jobs and providing opportunities to attract new industries. I’m pleased this grant is utilizing public-private partnerships and the Opportunity Zone incentives in order to enhance and improve this tremendous asset for this community.”
“Hot Springs is home to dedicated workers and companies who are building a stronger country,” said Senator Tom Cotton. “The infrastructure improvements announced today will create jobs for more than a hundred Arkansans and contribute to an already productive and expanding community.”
“The Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act improve neighborhoods and incentivize investments, and I’m thrilled to see that Hot Spring County will benefit from one of these grants,” said Representative Bruce Westerman. “Not only will it update and modernize an industrial park in our community, but it will also bring in new jobs and infrastructure improvements. I’d like to thank Secretary Ross and the administration for delivering on their promise to bring jobs back to rural America, and look forward to continuing to advocate for better-paying jobs in Arkansas.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (WCAPDD). EDA funds WCAPDD 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 goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors 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 Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.
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.