Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $624,000 grant to the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, Kenai, Alaska, to increase the economic resilience of the Kenai Peninsula to future disasters. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $176,000 in local funds and is expected to create 20 jobs.

“This EDA investment will capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund that businesses can access to economically recover and strategize following natural disasters,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The nearby Opportunity Zone will incentivize private investment to help further reinvigorate the local economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District (KPEDD), 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.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity 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 resourceswebpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization CouncilReport to President Trump.

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