WASHINGTON (KAMR/KCIT) — The U.S. Department of Commerce recently invested $400,000 into the CARES Act to help boost economic development programs critical to helping the Texas Panhandle in response to coronavirus.

On Friday, July 10, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission in Amarillo, Texas.

Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, an EDA-designated Economic Development District (EDD), is one of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA EDD, University Center, Tribal, and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The award will go to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding 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 the Panhandle region of Texas with the necessary resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“This investment comes at a crucial time to help our 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 this investment in the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission to respond to the coronavirus pandemic through a concerted effort to identify and implement strategies to diversify the region’s agriculture and oil-based economies, create needed economic resiliency plans, and hire additional staff to fully support the regional economic needs.”

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.