EDA: $3.4 Million Invested to Support Entrepreneurs and Economic Diversification Efforts in St. Clair County, MI

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.4 million grant to the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, Port Huron, Michigan, to construct an 11,000-square-foot building for use as a small business incubator that will support emerging and second-stage businesses in the state’s I-69 Thumb Region. This EDA grant, to be matched with $743,421 in local funds and $101,680 in state funds, is expected to help create 125 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment.

“The Biden Administration is committed to ensuring that communities get the resources they need and deserve in order to strengthen and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will allow The Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County to establish a new, permanent home for their small business incubator operations, including co-working spaces and advanced manufacturing equipment, that will help diversify the local economy and ensure the region’s resilience in the face of future economic disruptions.”

“This EDA project supports the area’s only business incubator and ensures that regional entrepreneurs have the resources they need to succeed,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The new facility in St. Clair County will support entrepreneurship and lead to new and diverse career pathways in Michigan’s Thumb Region.”

“I am grateful to our federal partners for investing in Michigan’s economy to create good-paying jobs in St. Clair County,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As we continue our economic jumpstart, we are laser-focused on investing in our families, communities, and small businesses to foster growth and recovery in all regions of our state. Today’s actions will utilize federal, local, state, and private funds to create good-paying jobs and grow emerging businesses in the Thumb, helping us usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of Michigan’s economy,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow. “This investment will not only support new small businesses and help entrepreneurs, but will create good paying jobs at the same time. It’s great news.”

“As communities in Michigan work to emerge from this pandemic, this federal grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan I helped enact will make important investments in supporting entrepreneurs and fostering small businesses in the Thumb area,” said Senator Gary Peters. “This is important for creating more economic opportunity and good-paying jobs in St. Clair County.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

This award is a great example of what communities can do under EDA’s new American Rescue Plan programs; particularly the $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. This investment will ensure that coal communities have the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and will help create new jobs and opportunities, including through the development or expansion of a new industry sector.

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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