US economic development administration awards $19 million across Western New York
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding over $6 million in funding to help small businesses in Erie and Niagara counties and a total of $19 million across Western New York. The funding was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by the House of Representatives on March 27.
Higgins said, “Western New York small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and some don’t know where to turn for help. This federal EDA investment in Western New York’s economy, including $6.137 million available to small businesses in Erie and Niagara counties combined, will help local entrepreneurs struggling to access the resources to get through this difficult time.”
The Erie County Industrial Development Agency will receive $5.4 million while the Niagara County Industrial Development Authority is being awarded $737,000. These EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants provide both agencies with resources to administer a revolving loan fund program to support loans for small businesses economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the Erie-Niagara region.
Additional awards were announced by the EDA for the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, the Southern Tier Enterprise Development Organization and the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corp. The five recipients in the Western and Central New York region received a total of $19 million for small business investments.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminated the EDA and its funding. The budget approved by Congress restored the agency, which is focused exclusively on economic development and job growth in economically distressed areas. Several Western New York projects have benefited from EDA investment, including: Launch NY, which provides mentorship and entrepreneur support for startup companies; and UB Regional Institute’s work with the Town of Tonawanda on the “Tonawanda Tomorrow” action plan.