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BATON ROUGE – On Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson welcomed the award of $2.4 million in federal funds to spur business recovery throughout Louisiana in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Louisiana Economic Development will match $600,000 in state funds, for a $3 million initiative. The department will work with economic developers statewide on recovery-focused efforts to retain and attract small and large businesses.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the Louisiana award, with the grant coming from the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, or EDA.

“We are deeply appreciative of this EDA technical assistance grant and what it can do for business recovery throughout our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “As we continue to chart a path toward COVID-19 health recovery, we also are mindful of the major impact this health crisis has had upon the businesses of Louisiana. LED will work with its regional and local partners across the state to fund meaningful economic development programs that can secure jobs and investment for our economy.”

The EDA grant represents $2.4 million in CARES Act recovery assistance, part of a $1.5 billion package of economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Louisiana, LED will survey key economic development organizations and small business service-providers to identify COVID-19 recovery projects. Those efforts will focus on local projects designed to have maximum impact on the state’s economic recovery.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” Commerce Secretary Ross said. “This investment will provide the resources that Louisiana needs to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”