WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding an $800,000 grant to the West River Foundation for Economic and Community Development in Sturgis, South Dakota, to establish a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to assist small businesses impacted by natural disasters in Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Meade, Pennington, and Perkins counties. The RLF, which will be available to eligible entities near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $200,000 in local funds and is expected to generate $2 million in private investment.
“President Trump is dedicated to providing businesses with the resources they need to recover and become more resilient in the wake of natural disasters,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA is pleased to support the West River’s strategy to encourage economic resilience by providing gap financing for startup and existing businesses. The portion of the lending area near an Opportunity Zone will further strengthen and diversify the region’s economy.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Black Hills Council of Governments, which brings together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
The funding announced today will help 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.