GORE, CUOMO SEEK NEW EMPOWERMENT ZONES &
BOSTON -- President Clinton's proposal to establish new
Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities will benefit
communities around the nation by creating jobs, reducing poverty,
strengthening local economies and spurring community
revitalization, Vice President Al Gore and Housing Secretary
Andrew Cuomo said today.
AND ANNOUNCE OVER
$160 MILLION IN NEW GRANTS AND LOANS
Speaking at the Northeast Empowerment Board Conference in
Boston, which attracted more than 1,000 community leaders and
government officials from 26 Empowerment Zones (EZs) and
Enterprise Communities (ECs) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
states, the Vice President and Cuomo also announced over $160
million in new grants and loans for 14 EZs and ECs in the
President Clinton's balanced budget proposal, agreed to by
Congressional leaders in the spring, calls for second round of
EZs and ECs. The President proposed 15 urban and 5 rural EZs,
and 50 urban and 30 rural ECs. The proposal asks for $1 billion
in tax incentives over five years and $1 billion in grants over
three years for new EZs and ECs. It also allows a broader range
of businesses in EZs and ECs to borrow against the proceeds of
tax-exempt bonds. Congress is expected to finish work on the tax
proposal before its August recess.
"Our investment in Empowerment Zones and Enterprise
Communities will pay dividends for years to come," the Vice
President said. "These programs give some of the poorest
Americans the opportunity to climb out of poverty under their own
power, creating jobs that enable fathers and mothers to support
their families and work their way up to the middle class."
"Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities successfully
treat the underlying causes of unemployment and community decay
and can return impoverished communities to economic health,"
Cuomo said. "The federal government, local governments,
businesses, non-profit groups and local residents all work in
partnership to achieve this goal."
Existing EZs and ECs are receiving more than $1.5 billion in
federal performance grants and more than $2.5 billion in tax
incentives over a 10-year period that act as catalysts to
stimulate billions of dollars in greater investment by the
private sector in distressed communities.
Vice President Gore and Secretary Cuomo said the 105 EC/EZ
communities designated by President Clinton in 1994 (72 urban and
33 rural) have amassed more than $8 billion in public/private
commitments and have created thousands of jobs.
In six urban Empowerment Zones alone, the private sector has
made more than $2 billion in new investments and made commitments
for another $1.2 billion.
Vice President Gore chairs the Community Empowerment Board,
which coordinates the work of all federal agencies assisting EZs
and ECs. EZs and Supplemental EZs receive higher levels of
federal assistance than ECs under the program.
Here are the total new grants and loans awarded to EZ and EC
communities announced today by the Vice President and Secretary
-Baltimore, MD -- $41,114,000
-Boston, MA -- $40,743,544
-Bridgeport, CT -- $13,387,260
-Buffalo, NY -- $7,675,000
-Burlington, VT -- $1,076,000
-Chicoppee, MA -- $1,503,000
-Hartford, CT -- $8,636,901
-Lowell, MA -- $4,084,997
-Manchester, NH -- $3,480,991
-New Haven, CT -- $7,706,000
-Rochester, NY -- $15,519,893
-Schenectady, NY -- $4,543,000
-Springfield, MA -- $7 million
-Wilmington, DE -- $3,767,592