Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $5.58 million grant to the Foundation for Puerto Rico to support recovery efforts for towns and cities which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 24 jobs, retain 432 jobs, and spur $80,000 in private investment.
“The Trump Administration stands shoulder to shoulder with the communities of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of last year’s devastating hurricanes,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Through this project, the Foundation for Puerto Rico will provide essential assistance to the island’s businesses, while supplying critical resources to those in need.”
“In the past year, the Foundation for Puerto Rico has been active in the recovery efforts of the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María,” said Resident Commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón. “The funding that is being announced today is a result of a collective effort with fellow members of Congress to provide additional aid for Puerto Rico’s recovery. This $5.6 million grant from the US Department of Commerce will greatly assist the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to unleash Puerto Rico’s full potential. I want to thank Secretary Ross and the Administration for continuing to identify ways to build a more resilient Puerto Rico.”
This project will support long-term recovery planning for six regions in Puerto Rico outside metropolitan San Juan, helping provide access to potable water, support water quality testing, provide alternative energy sources, and access to telecommunications equipment. Moreover, the project will procure technical assistance to create a Destination Plan for each region, build the capacity of existing small and medium size businesses, assist with the creation of new tourism related businesses, as well as arrange workshops promoting business continuity and preparedness.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
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.