October 20, 2020

EDA: $16 Million Invested to Support Commercial Fishing Industry in New Bedford, MA Opportunity Zone

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $16 million grant to the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, to make port infrastructure improvements needed to protect commercial fishing businesses from floods and severe weather events. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $4 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain more than 400 jobs and spur $4 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping disaster-impacted American communities obtain the modern infrastructure they need to build resilience against natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These port infrastructure improvements will better protect New Bedford’s commercial fishing industry from flooding, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will drive additional private investment to the community.”

“New Bedford was struck by a severe winter storm with hurricane force winds and flooding in March of 2018,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will strengthen this vital commercial fishing hub’s resilience to future natural disasters, and its location in an Opportunity Zone will attract transformative investment.”

“Massachusetts’ ports are important economic hubs, and this funding will help ensure critical infrastructure and commercial fishing businesses in New Bedford are protected from future natural disasters and the impacts of climate change,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is grateful for this partnership with the federal government as we work to create jobs while building a more resilient Commonwealth.”

The funding announced today goes to one of Massachusetts’s 138 Opportunity Zones. 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.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

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.

This post was originally published here.