EDA: $399,804 in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Invested to Boost Capital Investment in Rural Utah Opportunity Zones

 Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $399,804 grant to the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and the Utah Association of Counties to create a rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook that will support local efforts to drive capital investment into Utah communities. This EDA grant, to serve 16 Utah Tax Cuts and Jobs ActOpportunity Zone, will be matched with $150,000 in state investment to create a more equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump Administration is excited to support efforts by the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and the Utah Association of Counties to establish the Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook, which will be utilized by communities in rural Utah and across America to maximize the transformative impact of Opportunity Zones,” said Scott Turner, Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. “The playbook will assist five Utah Economic Development Districts serving 21 counties in providing dedicated training and support to rural Utah counties looking to diversify their economies and increase their resiliency.”

“This investment comes at a crucial time to help Utah’s economy come roaring back,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “As a member of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, EDA is pleased to work with the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and the Utah Association of Counties continue to support communities in Utah as they step-up efforts to attract vital capital investment to Opportunity Zones. This EDA investment will help communities in rural Utah and across the country create a plan to diversify and grow their economies.”

“This funding will provide support to rural communities in Utah whose businesses are struggling to retain their employees and keep their doors open,” said Senator Mitt Romney. “I appreciate the continued work of Secretary Ross, who administered this funding which we authorized as a part of the CARES Act in order to help communities recover from the impacts of this pandemic.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts of Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments, the Six County Association of Local Governments, the Five County Association of Governments, the Bear River Association of Governments and the Uintah Basin Association of Governments, 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 will serve 16 Opportunity Zones in Utah. 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.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

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. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

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.

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