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Commerce begins awarding $150 million in economic development stimulus grants

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) says it is ready to start awarding $150 million in grants to economically distressed areas to generate private sector jobs.

The $150 million in EDA grants was part of a $7.9 billion allocation Commerce received in the federal stimulus package, also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

EDA said applications for the grant program, called the EDA American Recovery Program, are being solicited exclusively through its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. The government has indicated that it will give preference in awarding grants to job-creating initiatives that will make use of the funding in the next three months.

A summary in the announcement from Commerce defined the purpose of the EDA grants as follows:

“Grant-based investments…will promote comprehensive, entrepreneurial and innovation-based economic development efforts to enhance the competitiveness of regions, resulting in increased private investment and higher-skill, higher-wage jobs in regions that have experienced sudden and severe economic dislocation and job loss due to corporate restructuring.

EDA said applications will be accepted on a continuing basis and processed as received. Applications may be submitted electronically in accordance with the instructions provided at www.grants.gov or mailed to an EDA regional office.

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