Fort Smith received a $1.7 million grant from the Department Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build road infrastructure. The announcement was made July 19 by US Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo.
The grant was funded by the American Rescue Plan, according to an EDA press release. The project will provide the necessary access for manufacturing companies to develop and grow, creating new employment opportunities in the region.
The grant will be matched with $415,878 in local funds and is expected to create or maintain 84 jobs and leverage $119 million in private investment, according to recipient estimates.
“President Biden is committed to helping communities recover from the pandemic as they build a stronger America for the future,” Raimondo said. “This EDA investment will play an important role in supporting existing businesses and creating new opportunities for Fort Smith manufacturers, creating a stronger and more robust regional economy.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the economic development. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Fort Smith to provide critical infrastructure to attract new businesses and encourage business development to create more employment opportunities in the area. »
“Fort Smith has been the cornerstone of western Arkansas’ economic success and continues to attract significant industrial and military investment,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “The $1.7 million US bailout to support road construction and other infrastructure in Stephens Industrial Park is a well-deserved boost for Fort Smith as it prepares for a bright future. .”
This project is funded under the US EDA bailout Economic Adjustment Assistance Program, which makes $500 million in economic adjustment assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance Program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants awarded through this program will help hundreds of communities across the country plan, build, innovate, and rehabilitate people. work through construction projects or not designed to meet local needs.
Funding for the $3 billion program will be provided on an ongoing basis through September 30.