Perryton awarded $2.7 million grant for economic growth as 2023 tornado recovery continues

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.7 million grant to the city of Perryton to support business growth as recovery from natural disasters in the region continues.

The Texas Panhandle community was hit by an EF-3 tornado on June 15, 2023, nearly a year ago to date, with three people killed, dozens injured and homes and businesses destroyed after the storm ripped through the Ochiltree County seat. It leveled buildings and left the city's roughly 8,500 residents picking up the pieces after the tornado sirens failed due to a power outage amid the storm shortly before the tornado hit.

“As the Perryton community continues to recover from tornadoes that devastated the region last year, Texas is working tirelessly to provide the resources needed for Texans and businesses to rebuild,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “I thank the Economic Development Administration for this grant that will help construct a workspace for local small businesses that sustained damage. The construction of the Rebuild Perryton Incubator is an important step forward as we work together to help Texans and businesses on the road toward recovery.”

EDA said the federal grant will create the Rebuild Perryton Incubator, converting an existing building into commercial space for local businesses impacted by recent tornadoes. This EDA investment will be matched with $625,000 in local funds, the department said. Raimondo said the investment will help in creating jobs and strengthening the regional economy.

A row of debris from destroyed homes in Perryton is seen from the devastating June 15, 2023 tornado that impacted more than 200 homes in the Panhandle city in this file photo.
A row of debris from destroyed homes in Perryton is seen from the devastating June 15, 2023 tornado that impacted more than 200 homes in the Panhandle city in this file photo.

“The Economic Development Administration works closely with local communities to support place-based economic growth,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment in Perryton will allow businesses to grow and thrive following natural disasters, supporting a resilient economy that benefits Texans throughout the region.”

EDA said the project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (PRPC). EDA said it funds PRPC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy,” said U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. “In the aftermath of a natural disaster, every day counts, and this award will give Perryton the resources to help small businesses swiftly rebuild in the Panhandle.”

Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration gave Perryton residents and businesses access to its Physical Disaster Loan and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs, after a disaster declaration request for assistance issued by Gov. Abbott was approved in wake of the devastating storm.

More: From the Hart: Perryton is showing all of us the true power of unity following tornado

This year's project is funded under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which provided EDA with $483 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas that received a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act as a result of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona, wildfires, flooding, and other natural disasters occurring in calendar years 2021 and 2022.

For more information, visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage or the U.S. Economic Development Administration's main page at www.eda.gov.

More: ‘Bent but not broken’: Perryton parade lifts spirits amid tornado recovery

More: 'Somebody’s trailer frame hit the house': Perryton man was caught in tornado

More: Tornado alley is shifting. So, why are there still so many in the High Plains?

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Perryton awarded $2.7 million grant for economic growth

Advertisement