EDA American Rescue Plan Programs – Investing in America’s Communities

Under the American Rescue Plan, EDA was allocated $3 billion in supplemental funding to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.

This EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades and will help communities across the country build back better.

Investing in America’s Communities includes: 

  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion) will capitalize on American ingenuity and American workers by providing a transformational investment to regions across the country to revitalize their economies.
  • Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million) is designed to help get Americans back in good-paying jobs. The program will develop and strengthen regional workforce training systems and sector-based partnerships with a focus on programs targeted at women, people of color and historically underserved communities.
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance ($500 million) grants will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through projects tailored to meet local needs.  
  • Indigenous Communities ($100 million) program will work hand-in-hand with Tribal Governments and Indigenous communities to develop and execute economic development projects they need to recover from the pandemic and build economies for the future. 
  • Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation ($750 million) program will focus on revitalizing the hard-hit travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries and accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on these sectors.  
  • Statewide Planning, Research and Networks ($90 million) grants include funding for state planning efforts as well as grants to build Communities of Practice to extend technical assistance to support EDA’s work with grantees.  

The Economic Development Team is currently working in collaboration with regional stakeholders to spearhead coordination for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. This program is designed to build more resilient economies through the identification, development, and support of regional industry clusters. A number of industry clusters exist within the Five County EDD, therefore coordination with economic development professionals across the region will prove crucial towards identifying a cluster with the greatest potential for growth.

The five additional programs present numerous opportunities for Utah’s tourism sector, development of workforce training programs, and support for indigenous communities.

Working closely with the Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Economic Development (DRRE) Strategy Committee, FCAOG strives to coordinate the most comprehensive application of these programs across the region to achieve desired community-led development objectives. The Five County Association of Governments is committed to capitalizing on this tremendous opportunity and assisting our partners throughout the Southwest with utilizing any funds applicable in the most impactful way.

For more information on EDA’s ARPA Programs and to get involved contact Five County Economic Development

“The bottom line is: the American Rescue Plan meets the moment.”

President Joseph R. Biden

SBA Announces PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.

“We are very excited about the new PPP portal for our businesses and lenders. In Utah, we have approved over 62,000 PPP loans under $150,000. This new portal will make it easier for Utah business owners to get their forgiveness quickly and turn their focus back to what they do best, running their business,” said Marla Trollan, SBA Utah District Director. “The portal will also free up the time for some of our lenders which will allow them to focus on and speed up the process for those with larger loans.” 

This new change will help rush relief to over 6.5 million smallest of small businesses which has been the Administration’s priority since day one. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4th 2021.  In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is establishing a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications.  Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST.

Borrowers that need assistance should call (877) 552-2692 or contact

the Saint George SBDC or the SUU SBDC

SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund

“Today, we are starting the process to help restaurants and bars across the country devastated by the pandemic, and this is our message: help is here.”

Isabelle Casillas Guzman

Administrator, United States Small Business Administration

SBA Announces Official Restaurant

Revitalization Fund Application and Guidelines

The SBA has announced key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bring jobs back and revive the industry, the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden, established the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA will administer the funds to the hardest-hit small restaurants.

Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available at www.sba.gov/restaurants

Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training. The pilot period will be used to address technical issues ahead of the public launch. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public. 

Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public. The official application launch date will be announced at a later date. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.

Contact the Saint George Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for more information and to begin the application process

GOED 2021 Impacted Small Business Catalyst Grant

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has announced its most recent grant to assist Utah small businesses, nonprofits, and organizations recovering from the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The $15 million 2021 Impacted Small Business Catalyst Grant will begin accepting applications on April 20, 2021, at 9 a.m. and closes on April 27, 2021, at 5 p.m. (MDT).

This grant will assist small businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that experienced

1) a high level of revenue decline in a consecutive four-month period in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, or

2) began operations after Jan. 1, 2020, and can demonstrate the effects of COVID‐19 on the business and

3) provide evidence of continuing solvency.

The first tranche of funds will be awarded to applicants that demonstrate a revenue loss of 90% or greater. If funds are still available, the application will open to businesses that demonstrate an 80% or greater loss. To learn more about eligibility, required documentation, additional program details, and submit applications, visit the 2021 Impacted Small Business Catalyst Grant page.

Any questions or inquiries about the Small Business Catalyst Grant may be directed to goedsupport@utah.gov.

Small Business Assistance Grants

Over $200,000 in grants awarded to 42 small businesses across the region”

The Southwest region is home to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, several State Parks, and multiple National Forests. With such an abundance of natural amenities, it is no surprise that tourism and service industries dominate the economy in Southwest Utah. As a result of the initial shutdown, spending at local restaurants, hotels and many other businesses was disrupted throughout the region. During that time, many companies struggled to keep their doors open and were unsure about their future.

The Five County Association of Governments utilized CARES Act funding funneled through the Community Development Block Grant program to award 42 small businesses across the region in the initial critical months of the pandemic. By the completion of the program, Five County awarded over $200,000 to companies in the manufacturing, food services, hospitality, and tourism industries.

The Small Business Assistance Grant is now closed, but Five County staff continue to work with local and state partners to speed economic relief and support recovery initiatives.