Bloomington Receives $3.5M to Establish Trades District Tech Center

Bloomington Receives $3.5M to Establish Trades District Tech Center

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Bloomington, IN, to construct the Trades District Technology Center to support the growth of tech-based businesses. This EDA grant, to be matched with $1.6 million in local funds, is expected to create 530 jobs and generate $51 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Bloomington will create a commercialization services hub for second-stage and start-up technology companies to connect with regional entrepreneurial resources, bring new products to market, and create good-paying jobs.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Bloomington’s new Trades District Technology Center will be a critical pillar of the city’s Certified Technology Park and Trades District and will support efforts to diversify and strengthen the regional economy for a more resilient future.”

“This grant is doing so much more than that just paying for much-needed infrastructure improvements in Bloomington to support tech-based businesses,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “It’s also providing local leaders with opportunities to attract more economic development projects and in turn bring more high-skilled jobs to the area. These infrastructure improvements will help elevate Bloomington and set the community up for long-term success.”

“I was proud to support the CARES Act in 2020, knowing its critical funds would help Indiana recover from both the healthcare and economic effects of COVID-19,” said Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09). “The $3.5 million federal investment in Bloomington’s Trades District Technology Center will spur local economic investment, create jobs, and strengthen Indiana’s role in our nation’s tech space.”

“We are extremely gratified to see this federal investment in our community’s economic future,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “As Bloomington’s economy has evolved toward the tech sector, the City has made strategic investments such as the redevelopment of the Trades District to ensure that our entrepreneurial ecosystem scales up to attract employers and grow jobs for all, across many sectors.  We’re glad to be able to partner with the BEDC to establish a tech center that will amplify these efforts toward our community’s sustainable economic development.”

“The Trades District Technology Center will connect local tech companies to regional, national, and international partners and resources,” said Jennifer Pearl, president of the BEDC.  “By helping post-startup tech firms grow, this project will also help advance our region.”

The proposed Trades District Technology Center, to be located in the downtown Trades District, will support regional employment growth and economic development in the emerging technology sector.  The center will create a hub for technology companies that are beyond the startup phase, with services and space for both growing and mature firms.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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