Central U.P. to receive $400,000 for local coronavirus relief

ESCANABA — The Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development (CUPPAD) Regional Commission will be receiving a portion of the $1.5 billion CARES Act federal relief funds allocated to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Regional development organizations like CUPPAD were invited to apply for funds to use towards developing economic recovery plans, training and providing technical assistance to local governments, and securing appropriate technology that could support pandemic response activities, among other uses to guide a comprehensive response to economic injury caused by the coronavirus.

“We are excited and grateful to receive these funds so that we can keep doing our work in the Central UP,” states CUPPAD Executive Director, Dotty LaJoye. “Our local governments often don’t have the capacity needed to deal with basic day to day operations. These funds will help us to step up and assist them even more during this pandemic. The economic recovery of the Upper Peninsula is among our highest priorities right now.”

The scope of CUPPAD’s two-year program includes initiatives for helping local governments adapt in ways that support community and business resiliency. Another key initiative will analyze community barriers to economic recovery such as the connection between workforce and childcare, which could limit the ability of parents to return to work. Broadband connectivity is a fundamental need across education, healthcare, and business sectors, but unfortunately parts of the region still do not have access to the digital world via the internet. Through this grant, coordination and implementation strategies for improving access and use will be supported.

“We are grateful to our Federal leaders for providing this relief package which will go a long way in helping our rural communities prevent and prepare for economic injury as a result of coronavirus,” says Senior Community and Economic Development Planner Ryan Soucy. “Collaboration and cross-sector support are the greatest strengths of our ecosystem in the U.P. With strategic planning and coordination on the big issues that challenge us, I believe we can emerge from this crisis stronger and better prepared for the future than we ever were before.”


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