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U.S. Dept. of Commerce invests $12.8M in Roosevelt Roads project

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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $12.8 million grant to the Roosevelt Roads Local Redevelopment Authority to build and establish the Marine Business, Research & Innovation Center (MBRIC).

The EDA grant, to be matched with $3.2 million in local investment, is expected to create nearly 29,500 jobs and spur $81 million in private investment, said US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a release.

The project will revitalize the former Guard Pier at Roosevelt Roads Formal Naval Station, supporting the Blue Economy, ocean-dependent industries, and stakeholders with innovative solutions impacting the whole Island and the Caribbean,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said.

“This EDA investment will allow the city of Ceiba to provide technical assistance to the agricultural industry and to develop new commercial products, helping to diversify the local economy,” she said.

Pierluisi said the grant award “will help us to continue building a resilient Puerto Rico and to strengthen our economy by generating thousands of new jobs.”

The MBRIC is the results of our efforts in Congress to secure federal funding to mitigate the natural disasters that have hit the island as well as the recent pandemic, said Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Washington, Jenniffer González.

“This grant will contribute to the reconstruction of the Island and boost our economic growth while generating jobs that our people need in these critical times,” she said.

“This center is another effort to unleash Puerto Rico’s full potential, resources and assist our local producers while serving as a business model for other jurisdictions,” González said.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), in which US Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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