U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $800,000 to Boost Capacity for Business Development in Fort Smith, Arkansas

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding an $800,000 grant to the city of Fort Smith, Arkansas, to make critical sewer system improvements needed to accommodate business development and expansion in the Warehouse district of Chaffee Crossing. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain nearly 110 jobs. “We commend the city of Fort Smith for working to accommodate the needs of the local business community,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord. “The improved infrastructure will ensure that the region’s businesses have the capacity they need to grow and thrive.” The Warehouse district of Chaffee Crossing holds great potential for job creation and expansion by small- to mid-sized businesses, however, aged and under-capacity sewer lines in this area as well as inadequate fire protection are severely hampering redevelopment efforts which could result in new jobs for the community. This project will update the water/sewer lines and fire protection so that current business needs will be met and that expansions can occur. The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District. EDA funds the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs. About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov) The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.