U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $12.8 million grant to Local Redevelopment Authority for Roosevelt Roads, San Juan, Puerto Rico, to construct and establish the Marine Business, Research & Innovation Center (MBRIC). This EDA grant, to be matched with $3.2 million in local investment, is expected to create nearly 29,500 jobs and spur $81 million in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to helping communities affected by natural disasters to create new opportunities to reinvigorate their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will allow the city of Ceiba to provide technical assistance to the agricultural industry and to develop new commercial products, helping to diversify the local economy.
“EDA plays an important role in supporting locally driven disaster recovery and resiliency plans,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA investment will unite researchers, industry representatives and subject matter experts and will ensure the local economy continues to thrive in the event of future hurricanes or other natural disasters.”
“We thank the EDA for this important grant award that will help us to continue building a resilient Puerto Rico and to strengthen our economy by generating thousands of new jobs,” said Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi. “This project will revitalize the former Guard Pier at Roosevelt Roads Formal Naval Station, supporting the Blue Economy, ocean-dependent industries, and stakeholders with innovative solutions impacting the whole Island and the Caribbean. I thank President Biden and Secretary Raimondo for their support and commitment to ensure Puerto Rico continues to recover from the recent natural disasters, while at the same time bolstering our economy.”
“This Marine, Business, Research, and Innovation Center (MBRIC) is the results of our efforts in Congress to secure federal funding to mitigate the natural disasters that have hit the Island as well as the recent pandemic,” said Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón. “This grant will contribute to the reconstruction of the Island and boost our economic growth while generating jobs that our people need in these critical times. This center is another effort to unleash Puerto Rico’s full potential, resources and assist our local producers while serving as a business model for other jurisdictions. I thank Secretary Raimondo and EDA for continuing to identify ways to build a more resilient Puerto Rico.”
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.