This week, two Nebraska economic development districts — Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) and Central Nebraska Economic Development District (CNEDD) — were awarded grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support coronavirus relief in their respective service regions.

“The grants provide much-needed funding to help PADD and CNEDD address coronavirus-related economic needs in their respective communities,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “The organizations were awarded these funds due to their track record of providing outstanding service to the people of Nebraska. They are both playing an important role to strengthen our economy as we get Nebraska growing.”

PADD is slated to receive $257,128 in grant funding, while CNEDD will receive $385,350. Both agencies will use their funds to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“PADD would like to thank the EDA for its generous award to assist with coronavirus relief in our 11-county service area,” said Jeff Kelley, PADD Executive Director. “The grant funding we have received will allow us to expand our capacity to assist local businesses by providing technical support and training to help with their recovery from the pandemic. It will also allow us to expand our staff and assist the communities and counties we serve through planning and grant writing services.”

“CNEDD is thankful for these funds that will help our region to become more resilient under disaster conditions by expanding small business marketing, enhancing local livestock markets, and improving broadband in the region,” said CNEDD Executive Director Judy Peterson.

The grants originate from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and flow through EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance program, operated under the authority of the agency’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program. EDA received $1.5 billion under the CARES Act for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide Nebraska with the necessary resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“This investment comes at a crucial time to help Nebraska’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.

An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the EDA leads the Federal Government’s economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

The more than 850 economic development districts, university centers, tribal and Revolving Loan Fund grant recipients invited by EDA to apply for Recovery Assistance funding were selected in part for their excellent performance records.

“We work in close proximity with Nebraska’s economic development districts, and can attest that the work they do is vital to the vision to grow Nebraska and promote economic opportunities,” said Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Anthony L. Goins. “Their staff are on the front lines each and every day, making a difference throughout their regions and being a set of ears and a voice for their communities. We greatly appreciate all they do for the people of our state.”

For more information, visit EDA’s Cares Act Recovery Assistance page. To learn about PADD or CNEDD, visit them on the web or find them on Facebook (click here to visit the PADD Facebook page and here to visit the CNEDD page).