Fair Bluff receives $4.8 million grant for small business center

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Fair Bluff was evacuated on Oct. 10, 2016, after flooding from Hurricane Matthew inundated the town. (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) — A federal grant will help the Town of Fair Bluff support existing businesses and create new ones.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration is awarding the $4.8 million grant to construct the Town of Fair Bluff Small Business Center.

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The EDA grant, to be matched with $1.2 million in local investment, is expected to create or retain 60 jobs, and spur $2.4 million in private investment in an area known as a North Carolina Opportunity Zone.

“This small business center will provide existing and new businesses a space to operate and catalyze redevelopment of Fair Bluff following significant damage caused by Hurricane Florence in 2018,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeastern Economic Development Commission, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development road map to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The money will support construction of the small business center, along with related water, electrical and road infrastructure.

Funding for Opportunity Zones help spur economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide.

“When I visited Fair Bluff following Hurricane Florence, I saw a tight-knit and resilient community that was determined to rebuild after being hit by two devastating storms,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “This federal grant will play a key role in the rebuilding process, providing Fair Bluff with resources to support small business development and job creation.”

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in 2018.