EDA: $2 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Support Entrepreneurship in Peoria, IL

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Distillery Labs, Peoria, Illinois, to create a business assistance and incubator space.

This project will support local entrepreneurs by funding space and programming for local entrepreneurship and start-up development. The grant will fund the renovation of an approximately 67,000-square-foot building in Peoria. Once completed, the building will feature prototyping space, meeting rooms and co-working offices, as well as educational, mentoring, networking and funding opportunities. This EDA grant, to be matched with $690,469 in local funds, is expected to create 400 jobs and generate $10 million in private investment.

“The Biden Administration believes entrepreneurs are instrumental in helping our nation recover from the pandemic and build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Distillery Labs will create an entrepreneurial hub that will help start-ups grow to scalable companies that create jobs and diversify the regional economy.”

“The Economic Development Administration supports 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 EDA investment will help launch a new generation of start-up businesses in the Peoria region and build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem that will create a more resilient local economy.”

“Building infrastructure for innovation will play a crucial role in Illinois’ post-pandemic resiliency,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In addition to the funding provided by my administration’s Rebuild Illinois initiative, which is investing $45 billion into infrastructure projects across the state, this CARES grant will ensure the Peoria region is equipped with the space and resources it needs to support local entrepreneurship. Thank you to Secretary Raimondo and Assistant Secretary Castillo for awarding Illinois with this powerful investment in Distillery Labs and the Illinois Innovation Network.”

“As we continue to grapple with the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that small businesses and startups are not left behind,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “This federal funding will help Distillery Labs in Peoria continue creating jobs and fostering innovation. I will keep advocating for EDA investments to help families and small businesses in Illinois.”

“Entrepreneurs and innovators across our state have been hit hard during this pandemic,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “Federal investments like today’s award to Distillery Labs are critical to creating jobs, promoting an equitable and resilient economy and helping Central Illinois communities like Peoria to grow and prosper. I’ll keep pushing for the resources that Illinois communities need to compete in the 21st Century.”

“I’m pleased that Peoria’s Distillery Labs will be receiving a $2 million grant from the CARES Act to create a space in our community dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and the jobs they bring to Illinois,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17). “I voted for the funding in this legislation to help build our economy back better than before, and this is precisely the kind of investment that will spur growth and development right here in the Heartland. I look forward to seeing these federal dollars used to support our local businesses.”

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.

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