CARES Act funding to aid in economic development in West Virginia during coronavirus pandemic

West Virginia

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $4.4 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to West Virginia’s 11 Regional Planning and Development organizations.

The money will be used to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide West Virginia with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help West Virginia’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “We are pleased to make these investments in West Virginia’s regional planning and development organizations to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”

Gov. Jim Justice commended President Trump for the support the state has received during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve said over and over that President Donald Trump is the best friend West Virginia has ever had in the White House and this substantial addition to our CARES Act funding is just the latest example of the Trump Administration stepping up to the plate and making life better for our people. Since I walked in the door as Governor, I’ve been laser focused on our economic development – and we’ve been on the move like never before – but it’s support like this from our President and the EDA that’s going to both help us recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help springboard us to future prosperity.”

Gov. Justice

Sens. Joe Manchin, D–W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R–W.Va., along with Reps. David McKinley, R–W.Va., and Alex Mooney, R–W.Va., also released statements about the funding announcement.

“West Virginia’s local economies have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This CARES Act funding will help our communities recover from this crisis, and I am pleased that the EDA is supporting economic development across West Virginia. I will keep advocating for future relief funding that supports our local governments and spurs economic recovery in the Mountain State because the fight against this pandemic is far from over.”

Sen. Manchin

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had terrible effects on our nation’s economy, and those pains have been felt all across West Virginia. Throughout this time, I have listened to the people of the state, from small business owners to medical professionals, and heard their concerns directly. Although we are all currently facing the same crisis, the solutions needed in the different regions of our state are quite diverse. This funding from the EDA will be given directly to our local development districts, who will observe the different factors that contribute to the economic landscape in their respected regions and identify the resources they need. Giving support directly to our communities will help strengthen our state on an individual basis during this difficult time. I am hopeful these investments from the EDA will provide the support our state needs to be successful, and will continue to supply the resources we need back home as we continue to battle COVID-19.”

Sen. Capito

“Congress passed the CARES Act to help America’s economy get back on track. These investments are vital in helping West Virginia respond and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help promote economic development in communities across the state.”

Rep. McKinley

“I’m glad these grants awarded by U.S. Department of Commerce from the CARES Act will support development and recovery projects to help grow our economy and respond to the coronavirus. This is great news for innovation and opportunity in West Virginia.”

Rep. Mooney

The EDA investments announced are as follows:

  • Region I Planning and Development Council, Princeton, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to fund enterprise Geographic Information Systems (GIS) licensing, data collection, and IT equipment necessary for economic recovery and revitalization.
  • Region II Planning and Development Council, Huntington, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to support the collection and analysis of economic data and trends critical to both short-term and long-term development in the region.
  • The Regional Intergovernmental Council (Region III), South Charleston, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to hire additional staff and supporting workforce needs.
  • Region IV Planning and Development Council, Summersville, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to identify and define shortfalls and gaps in reactionary and recovery efforts in all sectors, develop strategies to boost the region’s critical tourism sector, stimulate the growth of the timber industry, and implement technological advances to boost regional collaboration of resources and workforce development.
  • The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Planning and Development Council (Region V), Parkersburg, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance address the future resiliency of the region and support the deployment of Geographic Information System to serve local governmental users.
  • Region VI Planning and Development Council, Fairmont, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to hire a consultant and use existing staff to aid their communities and local governments in identifying impacted areas and to provide support to numerous industries, including those in the oil and gas, technology, and tourism sectors, as well as small businesses.
  • Region VII Planning and Development Council, Buckhannon, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to support the region’s workforce needs and develop strategies to enhance the region’s economy, specifically focusing on the tourism and timber industries.
  • Region VIII Planning and Development Council, Petersburg, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to implement strategies that will provide local government’s greater access and increased communication with the Region VIII staff.
  • The Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council (Region IX), Martinsburg, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to develop strategies to boost the area economy and expand on the success of the Western Potomac Economic Partnership, local development authorities and efforts that support opportunity zones.
  • The Belomar Regional Council (Region X), Wheeling, West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to hire additional staff to identify, develop, and obtain funding for economic and community development projects within their serviced area.
  • The Brooke Hancock Jefferson Metropolitan Commission (Region XI) Steubenville, Ohio, which serves Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia: received $400,000 in EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance to establish a community-based Business Recovery Center and implement strategies to enhance broadband services to improve education, employment, and telemedicine services.

The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the release explains.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, click here.

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