SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal met with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director to announce a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

According to a news release sent to 22News, the funding was made possible through the passage of the CARES Act and provides the EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs across the country aimed at helping communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission continuously does great work for the 43 cities and towns in Hampden and Hampshire Counties that they work with. This funding will allow them to address the needs of those communities as they rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and set a roadmap for the future to put our constituents back to work and grow the economy,” said Congressman Neal.

“The EDA has been a steadfast partner for years as we have sought to build a stronger, more vibrant economy here in the Pioneer Valley and we could not be more grateful to the authors of the CARES Act,” said Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Kimberly H. Robinson.

The $400,000 granted to the PVPC will be used to aid in their response to the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic, including the support of redevelopment and revitalization initiatives in the region to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.