SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio's East Side just got a big boost, thanks to a $500 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration.
The money will help create jobs, foster redevelopment and provide opportunities for growth for new and existing businesses within the federally designated Eastpoint Promise Zone.
At a luncheon Wednesday morning, Mayor Ivy Taylor said the money is much needed for one of the most economically distressed and underserved communities.
"We're not just making empty promises. We're sitting down with the community and outlining the things they want to see happening and seeing where are the resources we have, and where are the gaps, and we're moving forward in a more realistic way," said Mayor Taylor.
San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside, or SAGE, was awarded the grant money by the U.S. Department of Commerce. With unemployment plaguing that part of town, Pedro Garza, EDA administrator, said this grant should help create more jobs and increase current incomes in the area.
"It's a long-term process. It's a three-year grant, so it's not something that will be done in six months, so we're looking forward to a very productive planning process," said Garza.
The grant received help from U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's office. He stated, "Funding for the development and expansion of San Antonio's East Side is necessary not just for the prosperity of the entire city, but also as a model for the rest of the country."
San Antonio's East Side is one of only five federally designated promise zones in the U.S. Earlier this year, the area received $50 million in federal grants, including a promise neighborhood grant by the U.S. Department of Education and a Choice Neighborhood grant from HUD.