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Missouri awarded $1M federal economic recovery grant

Missouri is receiving $1 million to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week. 

The Statewide Planning Grant, administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), is earmarked to help communities reinforce a more resilient local economy, increase competitiveness, and invest in climate initiatives. The grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“The Biden administration is giving states and territories the unprecedented opportunity to bring all their communities together to develop comprehensive plans to build back better and stronger,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The $1 million Statewide Planning Grants will be used to lay the groundwork for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda to build resilient economies and increase U.S. competitiveness.”

The grant was awarded to 30 states this week. The division named 24 recipients in late October, with the remaining awards set to be disbursed over the next few weeks. 

EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funds under ARPA, initiating several grant programs to distribute money to communities across the country for recovery and economic reinforcement projects. 

“Planning is the backbone of economic development and Building Back Better,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo said. “EDA is proud to partner with state and territory leaders as they begin to tackle a wide range of challenges — including workforce training, business recruitment, capital access, infrastructure, broadband, entrepreneurial growth, economic diversification, and pandemic recovery — and develop a comprehensive plan for their entire state or territory that ensures communities work together toward a common economic development vision for the future.”

The grant is one of several administered through ARPA. EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which will be administered in phases to applicants from all over the U.S., will see nine Missouri cities, businesses, and universities vying for economic development funds. 

A historic $400 million in ARPA funds is also going toward Missouri’s broadband network while the  Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is setting aside a portion of its allotment for internet hotspots and connected devices.