New North region receives $500K EDA CARES grant for broadband gap analysis
Study expected to map deficiencies, identify solutions to help spur private business, job growth
NEW NORTH, May 28, 2021 – New North Inc., the regional economic development corporation serving Northeast Wisconsin, will receive a $500,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to conduct a broadband gap analysis for the 18 counties of the New North region. The grant was announced Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo on behalf of the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“President Biden is committed to empowering communities to build back stronger after the economic disruptions of the pandemic,” said Raimondo. “This EDA investment will identify gaps in critical broadband service in Northeast Wisconsin, which is critical to the success of the regional economy.”
CARES Act Recovery grants are funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
“As we continue to focus on our state’s economic recovery, these critical EDA investments will help ensure our families, communities, and industries in Northeast Wisconsin are in the best position to bounce back from the pandemic and better,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.
The EDA grant will be utilized for regional broadband data analysis, mapping and cost modeling for each county in the region, according to Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North Inc. She additionally shared that once completed, the study will develop a process to identify solutions, which will help the New North region attract and retain businesses and jobs, spurring private investment and advancing economic resiliency.
“We are grateful to be receiving these funds in the near future,” said LaMue. “We realize the necessity to make sure all parts of our region have affordable broadband access. As broadband expenditures are part of the continuing American Rescue Plan Act, it is our intention to work with all 18 counties in our region to map deficiencies and identify solutions, thus making it more compelling for actual implementation funding to be the next logical step.”
The project will be matched with $125,000 in local funds. Contributing are the Outagamie County Development & Land Services Dept. and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, comprised of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation (GGBCF), The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
Also announced Thursday was a $3.9 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Marinette, Wis. The grant’s purpose is road and utility upgrades to support its shipbuilding industry, as well as to develop additional nearby city-owned industrial property for new and expanding businesses.
As an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the mission of the 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.
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New North, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit, regional economic development corporation fostering collaboration among private and public sector leaders throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, known as the New North region. The New North brand unites the region both internally and externally around talent development, brand promotion and business development, signifying the collective economic power behind the 18 counties. The counties include Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee and Waushara. www.thenewnorth.com
New North Media Contact: Jeff Blumb, 920.328.5454 or [email protected]
Economic Development Administration Media Contact: Ike Umunnah, [email protected]