Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Pulaski County, Arkansas, to make critical roadway infrastructure improvements to the Fourche Dam Pike Road Corridor to support new business and job growth in the region. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $560,636 in local funds and is expected to create 1,000 jobs and spur $200 million in private investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping American communities obtain the modern infrastructure they need to encourage business attraction and growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide Pulaski County with the necessary expanded roadway infrastructure to drive future business development in the Port of Little Rock, the largest industrial hub in central Arkansas. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone provides additional tax incentives for companies to build and grow in Pulaski.”
“This project will redevelop the Fourche Dam Pike Road Corridor to allow current Little Rock Port businesses to expand and allow new businesses to locate in an Opportunity Zone,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will help Arkansas become more resilient to future natural disasters, and the Opportunity Zone designation will help attract new businesses that will diversify the region’s economy.”
“Quality infrastructure is a key element to economic growth and expansion,” said Senator John Boozman. “This investment will ensure businesses can have confidence in the region’s ability to welcome even more industry, including the continued development at the Port of Little Rock. I applaud this award from the Trump administration as well as the work of local leaders to prepare for the future.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District, 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 goes to one of Arkansas 85 Opportunity Zones. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity 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) 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 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.