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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces Recovery Act Grant to Create Jobs, Boost Development in Montana

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces Recovery Act Grant to Create Jobs, Boost Development in Montana

Investment Expected to Save Jobs and Preserve Employee Earnings

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced a $2.7 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant for the State of Montana to capitalize a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) that will provide timber and wood businesses with the financing they need to become more competitive.

This grant is the first awarded by the Commerce Department under President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“The Obama Administration is working closely with state and local officials to ensure that Recovery Act funds reach the most effective projects and meet the most urgent needs,” Locke said. “This grant will help to restructure and equip timber and wood businesses as they develop the innovative new product lines needed to enhance the competitiveness of the industry.”

“I want to thank Secretary Locke for making this funding available,” Senator Baucus said. “Timber is vital to our state and these dollars are going to keep folks at work and boost our economy. The bottom line is this is very good news for Montana.”

Senator Tester said, “Timber is a critical industry for many Montana communities.I’ve worked with the Governor and the Legislature to set up the revolving loan fund to provide the timber industry a lifeline. I’m glad Secretary Locke is providing the next piece to this puzzle.”

The ARRA was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. It is providing immediate relief for American families and jump-starting billions of dollars in new projects that are creating jobs, improving infrastructure, and strengthening local economies.

The Department of Commerce is a voice for Main Street businesses. It focuses on creating jobs by fostering innovation and opening markets to U.S. products. Locke is a key member of President Barack Obama’s economic team.

EDA is an agency within the U.S. Commerce Department and supports the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States. Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

Additional information on how EDA investments are helping distressed communities create a positive and sustainable economic future can be accessed at http://www.eda.gov.