September 17, 2020

EDA: $988,400 Invested to Support Economic Diversification and Business Growth in Northwest New Mexico Opportunity Zone

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $988,400 grant to Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments (NWNMCOG), Gallup, New Mexico, to support the second phase of the Building Resilient Communities in Northwest New Mexico program, which is helping local governments and tribal entities to diversify their economic base in response to coal industry closures. The EDA grant project will be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone.

“New Mexico has struggled with the decline of the coal sector and NWNMCOG’s Building Resilient Communities in Northwest New Mexico program is providing much-needed economic stability,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA is pleased to support the expansion of the critical Building Resilient Communities in Northwest New Mexico program to boost business growth, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will work to further this objective.”

This EDA investment will enable NWNMCOG to complete design and planning studies to encourage new industrial private investment. It will also provide technical assistance to local governments and tribes. This project builds upon the success of a prior EDA investment to establish NWNMCOG’s Building Resilient Communities in Northwest New Mexico program and leverages the strength of regional clusters to promote higher-wage jobs in Northwest New Mexico.

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

The funding announced today will serve one of New Mexico’s 63 Opportunity Zones. 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.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
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.

This post was originally published here.