VALDOSTA – South Georgia Regional Commission has been tapped to receive $400,000 in federal aid money because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced this month that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding $4.1 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to 11 EDA economic development district organizations across Georgia to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from federal officials. 

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission is one of the statewide grantees, and will be receiving $400,000 in CARES Act funding, they said.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” Ross said in a statement. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide Georgia with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.” 

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Georgia’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “We are pleased to make these investments in Georgia’s EDA economic development districts to help them prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus.”

The SGRC will utilize the EDA CARES Act recovery assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by developing and implementing economic recovery strategies to rebuild resilient and sustainable communities, federal officials said.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on many sectors of the Southern Georgia economy,” said Kimberly Hobbs, SGRC community and economic development director. “This EDA grant will enable the SGRC to work directly with our communities to assess the region’s needs and to devise a strategy to meet those needs through coordination, partnerships, and leveraged resources.”

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission is a regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency which serves 45 municipalities in 18 South Georgia counties: Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Tift, Turner and Ware. 

The SGRC partners with local governments to increase the prosperity and quality of life in the region through programs including: Area Agency on Aging, community and economic development, transportation and environmental planning, geographic information systems, information technology, workforce development and small business loans.

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