U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Expand SF’s CIED

 May 24, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.8 million grant to Santa Fe College, to help rebuild and expand the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) at the Blount Center. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds.

“By sending grant funds to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, the investment in rebuilding and expanding Santa Fe College’s CIED facility will not only grow new business sectors including IT, technology and other knowledge-based industries, but also attract additional investment with special tax incentives,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

“Our college remains a primary economic generator in our community for all size businesses, particularly small businesses,” added SF President Jackson Sasser. “This grant will allow us to serve at a higher level and will be housed in our new signature Blount Campus building.”

The project will support the development and growth of new business sectors by re-building and expanding the College Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED). The CIED serves early-stage startups across a broad spectrum of sectors. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. EDA funds North Central Florida Regional Planning Council to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

“With our focus on maximizing the full potential of Opportunity Zones to attract additional capital; investment and eliminating unnecessary occupational licensing requirements, Florida will become the best state to realize potential and find success,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. Florida is poised for growth in technology, finance, health care aerospace and more, so I applaud all efforts that support the continued ascent of our colleges and universities that will allow these industries to grow by employing our graduates in good, high-paying jobs in our low-tax, business-friendly environment.”

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), 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.

To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page.