Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of John Day, Oregon, to increase internet connectivity in Grant County.
This project will support community broadband enhancements in the cities of John Day and Canyon City, as well as the acquisition of a coworking space for use by small businesses, distance learners, and underserved residents. The EDA investment will be matched with $216,823 in local funds and is expected to generate $6 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a stronger America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This award reaffirms the President’s commitment to increasing internet accessibility in rural areas of the United States and lays a strong foundation for the critical investments we will make to expand high-speed internet thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will enhance the connectivity of small businesses, distance learners, underserved residents, and remote workers in Grant County, increasing the resilience of the region’s economy.”
“Reliable broadband is essential infrastructure for Eastern Oregon, just like the Rural Electrification Act opened new opportunities across the nation nearly a century ago,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “This federal investment in fast, dependable internet and a coworking space from the COVID relief package will allow Grant County to take a solid step toward connecting Oregonians to remote work, distance education and homework, telemedicine and more as we build more robust broadband connections for communities in every nook and cranny of our state.”
“High-speed internet is a critical need in today’s connected world, especially in our recovery from COVID-19, but also in supporting continued economic development in rural communities,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “I am pleased this federal funding is heading to the John Day and Canyon City region to bring enhancements to broadband infrastructure. This funding will create and retain jobs to support business, education, and underserved communities, all while strengthening the region’s economy.”
This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 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.
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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.